It was a quick conversation. Just 5 or 10 minutes at best. But her words spoke truth. (You know who you are!) They were filled with passion. With enthusiasm. With an enough-is-enough attitude. Let’s do this thing!
Thing is, she is. Doing the thing, I mean. But are the rest of us?
For just a second I’m going to say that I don’t care what you believe. I’m happy to live alongside you, you living your way, me living mine. M’kay?
Then one day we meet. You move in next door to me or we happen to be in a long line up together waiting for the iphone 17. We chat.
Maybe we really like each other and we decide that we should grab a coffee. Get to know each other a little better. So we do. Over coffee we talk of the work we do, how and where we were raised, how many kids we have or don’t have, how long we’ve been married.
I go away from this conversation thinking that I know you. I’d even call you friend. We’ve shared. We’ve discussed. I skip away happily.
How many of our relationships are like this? Knowing the peripherals about somebody. Knowing where they live or what they drive or what their hobby’s are.
Thing is, I know nothing about you. Nothing! Or at least nothing more than what anybody could assume by watching your life for a simple day.
Is this how we’re living our lives? On peripherals? And to that I say, what is the point!!
So here it is. In the words of my sweet friend who I know more about through having a 10 minute conversation than I do about some of you that I stand with outside the school doors every.single.day.
“Live what you believe.”
That’s it. Live what you believe. Sound simple? ha. Think about it for a bit longer. Cause it sounds just a little bit scary and a whole lot of overwhelming to me.
I don’t know what that means for you because I don’t know what you believe. But do you know what it means for me?
It means that I am to deny myself and take up my cross and follow Christ. (Matt. 16:24)
It means I must always be praying. Praying earnestly. Praying without losing heart. Praying for those who persecute me. (Luke 18:1, Matt. 5:44, Matt. 9:38)
It means I am not to be anxious (Matt. 6:25), that I am to be humble (Matt. 18:34), and that I am not to get angry (Matt 5:21).
It means that I am to love my enemies, pray for them and do good for them. (Matt. 5:44, Luke 6:28, Luke 23:34)
It means I am to give generously and sacrificially (Matt 10:8, Luke 16:10-12) and that my yes will be yes and that my no will be no (Matt. 5:36)
It means that I will stay married no matter the cost, the trials, the hurt. (Matt 19:4-6, Mark 10:11-12, Luke 16:18, Matt. 5:31-32)
It means that I ought to teach my children in the instruction of the Lord, it means that if I have two tunics I am to give one away, it means that I am to let my light shine before men and it means that I am called to suffer. It means that I am to be making disciples of all nations and I am to honour my father and mother. I am to care for the orphans, I am to care for the widows, I am to keep myself unstained by the world. I am not to store up for myself treasure on this earth, I am to make disciples. I am to eat and drink in remembrance. I am to render to God the things that are God’s. I am to strive and seek and ask. I am to love.
It means that how I raise my kids matters and that my husband and I are not to deny each other and that we need to be willing to ask the question, “what do you need?” above the statement of, “I want.”
It means that how I spend my time must be a reflection of these things and how I spend my money will be a reflection of these things and the words that I use will be a reflection of these things. It means that the desires of my heart will align with these and the motivation for every thing I do will in some form or another bring me back to this place. It means that words like “me time” and “I want” will not overshadow things like giving and sharing and going out of our way to reflect the rule and reign of Christ Jesus.
So am I living what I believe? Are you living what you believe? Whatever that is? Cause I say enough with the saying it and let’s get on with the living it!
If your living for the environment then you’d better be recycling like a mad-hatter and if the polar bears are what’s important to you then shout it from the roof top and if all you care about is yourself then put a crown on with a shirt that says Princess in bold letters and make the world feel like you’re all that matters!
Enough! Let’s get on with this whole living thing. Stop deluding ourselves and hailing things and then doing nothing at all about it!
I might delude myself and say yes. Yes, I am living what I believe. But it would be a delusion, for sure. I might check off half the list and feel quite good about that thinking that 50% is a good start. I might do one of these each day and feel quite superior to those doing less.
Here’s the thing about what I believe though. There’s no half way. There’s no kinda-sorta. There’s no picking-choosing. And there certainly is no time for I don’t like that or I don’t want to or that’s not my gifting or I was called somewhere else or I’m uncomfortable with that or really?….today? Not today.
Cause if we’re saying we believe it than we better dang sure be living it. I assure you the world is watching. Neighbours are watching. People at the grocery store they’re watching. And even if they’re not? Well, I know someone who is. All of it. All the time. Every decision and every temptation and every mode of our heart.
All in. That’s what I believe.
**As it would be, my friend Sarah, (who blogs here) was featured on the CBC News website this morning for living what SHE believes. Go Sar!! Find the article 5 Shopping Challenges to Consider this Holiday Season Here! Love it!