Look! Life is hard. Like you didn’t know that.
But life is and can be holistic IF we learn to love one another.
We live in a day when many people are opting out of the messiness of living life together, even in the church because it isn’t politically correct to speak your mind, share the truth, challenge another’s thinking, wrestle your heart into submission to the greater good, and a whole myriad of PC bologna. We can not live a PC life! PC as in “politically correct” or “personal computer.” Either so-called life is less than living because real, true, living is always going to be slogged out in the trenches with real people and real messy relationships not in a bubble or online.
I don’t watch a lot of TV but if I do I am usually watching some kind of gritty, life or death kind of stuff. I grew up in a home where a love of horror movies and super strange, sci-fi was a must for the tv connoisseur. While I don’t watch things that make my skin crawl anymore. I do watch things that make my criminally investigative imagination swoon and the need of my heart to dig into the dark spaces beneath the surface where the purpose of revealing truth and light collide. So I watch shows like Criminal Minds, The Walking Dead, and Fringe to name a few. The other day while watching The Walking Dead a character named Carol who is one of those hardcore women who can be, whatever they need to be, to survive. She had left her group to try and save herself from the consuming tide that threatened to mentally and emotionally swallow her whole. All that she has gone through and had to do to survive was crashing in. Carol gets hurt and is saved by Morgan. She ends up in the company of a group of people who call themselves The Kingdom. There she receives medical care. The King can see right through to who Carol truly is and can be to and for them, a great asset, a trainer, a leader of people. Her fighting skills and her mental control in fearful situations set her apart from the rest. The trouble is that she wants nothing to do with any type of group. She wants to be alone and isolated. She is done! She wants to be away from the fight and the struggle. She opts to leave the kingdom and tries to sneak away. She says to the King, “I just need to go!” and he says to her, “What if there was a way for you to go but not go?”
The other day I wrote a MiniDevo and I said, “It isn’t possible to be “done” with people and keep on with God. Loving God (how we show that we love God) is expressed through loving people.” 1 John 4:19-20 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. So here is the common argument, “what do we do with the reality that some people just want to hurt you?” This source of hurt is often the reason we are done with people and we choose to go it alone.
I was asked a few questions today. The questions were along the lines of “Is God ever “done” with us?” There are a few places in scripture that give us pause to think and wonder if God would just be “done” with our stubborn, hard-headed and hard-hearted selves. They say things like, “He gave us over to our passions and debased mind.” (Romans 1:26-31) and “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever… (Genesis 6:3) My comeback to this is the scriptures in Isaiah that say over and over through the book, “For all this, his anger has not turned away, and his hand is stretched out still.”
Well, when this question “Is God ever “done” with us?” was asked of me, the first thing I thought of was Carol and the King’s conversation. So in the screenwriting style of The Walking Dead – “you can go but not go?” So, maybe “we can be done but not done?” Like those scriptures in Isaiah where it seems that God can be done but not done too. Here is how I see it: Did Jesus just let people walk all over him? Did he give them everything that they wanted because they pushed, manipulated or threw a fit? No. But He did teach them how to treat Him and others. He did not behave the same way as other people. He didn’t cut off ears of people who disagreed with Him like Peter did. He didn’t try to round up people and throw them into prison because they thought differently than He did, like Saul. What was He teaching people? He was teaching that you don’t get what you really need through force. You get it through staying open, asking questions, leaning into unity and chooseing love.
Love is disarming….. IF YOU LET IT! #bethechurch
My son a few weeks back was struggling. How many of us can relate to losing your cool when you have something going on relationally at school and the pressures of life, family, and responsibilities are all coming at you in one day? It was that kind of day for my son, like Carol from The Walking Dead my son was no longer able to keep fighting against reality and me. So the next best thing for him was to ignore me and isolate himself inside of his own mind. I mean it was a classic fight or flight situation. But there is a 3rd option called face it. So I made him look at me. I asked him questions. We worked our way to the root of the issue through all the looking away, slouching, saying I don’t know, deflection, and more. Finally, I said, “It’s not all about you!” I took his little hand and I took my husband’s hand and I had him take his dad’s hand and I said, “It’s not all about you! It’s about us. When we don’t work together or care for each other it makes it harder to live.” All of the sudden his eyes welled up with tears as he realized he was fighting against love and running from it too. That day was a great day of realization for all of us.
So the issue is our human nature that does not like being told anything. I know because I will fight when I don’t want to be wrong. I will turn in flight if I am afraid of the truth or think I will be embarrassed. I will always lose when I act that way. But I can set myself up for a win when I face forward and enter the struggle. Why? Because when I face forward and enter the struggle within myself or with others it requires a level of humility that can only come from tapping into something greater than me and that is called we – us – oneness! – Tweet That!
Ephesians 4:1a-4a …walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit…
We can be done but not done!
We have to #bedone with these & we have to hold people accountable who do them. – not in harshness, anger, frustration or downright control. But in love, in humility, in gentleness, in patience we have to be done but not done. We are the church. Remember it is super scary for others when we start getting all real. So, go and be kind, be real, and be done.
6 things we must be done with in order to have unity:
- Fighting against people just to get your own way.
- Being responsible for other people. (We are responsible to them not for them)
- Fighting other peoples battles – making unnecessary enemies.
- Making excuses and ignore the issues.
- Reacting in isolation and going it alone.
- Walling up and tuning out.
First step: be done doing all those things yourself.
Next step: Be not done with facing forward with an open heart in all your relationships.
ITS TIME TO REALLY LIVE HOLISTIC. Step into the struggle!
It really is all connected and we must care for the entirety of each other and live as ONE.
1 Cor. 12:14b-26 God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it,25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
It’s not us v. them. It’s just us! It’s just we. It is just Christ’s. His Body! #Hischurch Its time to get real. Are you ready?
Thanks for listening,