There is absolutely no power or love in only telling someone you are praying for them. There is complete power and love in actually doing it, regardless of if it is told.
The deepest reality of suffering your heart allows to be felt does not begin to compare to the pain on the cross. We don’t get to tell Jesus he doesn’t understand suffering. He was suffering.
If ultimately, there is no substance in the material, worldliness, or statistics we gained as we fade from the earth, there was never any substance in these possessions as we lived on it either.
You can waste your entire life guessing what others think of you or you can rest in a constant, guaranteed love. And those are pretty much your only two options. Because knowing who you are, while pursuing the abandonment of God, will never be enough. Knowing whose you are is the real deal.
Resist living in constant self-flattery. If, “No one can serve two masters,” (Matt. 6:24) then when we live our lives as a continual performance piece for those entering and exiting our theatre on a daily basis, we are guaranteed unrest and exhaustion. When we ignore the God who has been gifting us with never-ending applause while placing flowers at our feet at the end of each scene, we are missing the gospel. There is no replacement for a King. Flesh does not replace Christ. It never will. And that is the beauty of this life.
God does not waste things. My friend Tori told me this on a hike last winter and it never left me. It is simple, convicting and true. Why would He? He’s got things to do and a kingdom to run. There may be mysteries but He does not make mistakes. He does not reroute. He knows where you will mess up and He is ready and able to make it right. He knows where He is going.
You are allowed to lead your life differently than those around you. You are allowed to not compare the beauty or lack thereof of your world to someone else’s. You are allowed to know what you like and what you do not. You are allowed to see through a different lens and you are allowed to accept that reality.
When approaching someone you do not know, all that can be guaranteed about them is that their heart was designed to crave love, acceptance for their true self, inclusion and invitation. Start there.
There is sin in under accountability. There is sin in over accountability. Be a friend and lead them. Be a friend and don’t shame them.
To love in the way Jesus loved and loves and will love, we have to be ready and able to love real people. Jesus didn’t die for Instagram profiles, our best portrait shots or our greatest self. Jesus died for our naked, real, dirty selves. To love in the way Jesus loved and loves and will love, we have to be ready and able to love real people and not the idea we have of real people.
This world and the moments found in this world are not the end all be all, under any circumstances, ever.
What is currently happening in our life is not a cue of whether to love God or run from Him. To even have the option of being with Him is reasoning as to why we should run to Him, not because of our current view. God works with hardship. God teaches with hardship. God stretches through hardship and God loves steadily through hardship. His name is indeed more difficult to praise while we sit in hardship but it is a name just as loving, just as good, just as sovereign and just as jealous for your sprint home.
Don’t beat yourself over beautiful and what that looks like to the world. Every being has a different opinion of what is beauty and what and who is lacking it. Do not simply listen to the world’s voice on beauty. It is full of judgement and muck. It is foolish for us to become excited over human approval with words such as attractive or good-looking when we have already been called, “fearfully and wonderfully made,” (psalm 139:14) and made in the image of God. (genesis 1:27) He pours out affirmation, approval and love as He, “takes pleasure in His people.” (psalm 149:4) It’s not to say we did anything or were ever beautiful enough to deserve this pleasure but because of the cross, God’s approval of Jesus translates to His approval of us. Because of the cross, He looks at us and says, “I am well pleased.” (Matt. 3:17) That is enough reason to walk confidently.
To be loyal to who the God of the universe created you to be, you must be willing to, like Jesus, be who you say you are. Be willing to let Him show you your gifts and reveal to you new ones. Allow yourself to be authentic and raw, as was He. In motioning towards the Lord, we are able to motion towards our true selves. There is a reason you laugh at what you laugh at, create what you make and are drawn to the people you are. He doesn’t waste things and He definitely doesn’t waste people. Allow Him to reveal your entirety to your own being.
The way you feel at all times- no matter how sappy, deep, numb, repeated or strange it may be is valid. Completely valid. You are a human. You are entitled to feelings. Deep ones. Messy ones. Unfinished ones. All of what you heart holds is not to be ignored or overlooked. What you feel is real and there should be no shame tied to that.
Reading will always be far better for your soul than social media.
People don’t ever really care to hear how faithful you have been to God. We can show people the love of Christ without shoving His name down their throats or telling them how much He loves us, personally. It is a for you, for me and for all kind of deal not for me and me alone because I am so perfected and loved and holy. Don’t get the whole deal twisted. We were never meant to be included in the deal anyway. No one wants to hear you toot your own horn when it comes to your sweet, amazing, awesome relationship with God. Don’t praise yourself for having one either. Dust. We were made from it and we have no reason to ever speak of ourselves so highly. Just speak truth. Love people. That’s our calling, nothing else.
Remember you can’t call someone a hypocrite without the same being true of yourself.
You DO NOT have to be a good dancer to enjoy dancing. That goes for everything else in life as well.
Your worth is endless as it is not connected to a world tied to an end. It is connected to a God without ending. Your worth is not tied to what you have been told you are by others or what you have been told you are by your own voice. You were died for so you could come to a God who reminds you of the love attached to your name, without hurdles, without barriers, without roadblocks. You are far too loved to go without knowing that. You are far too loved to not know that truth.