It’s your life. It’s your choice. But this emphasis on individuality comes at a cost. We’ve become lonely and isolated, so consumed with self that we become a stranger to the other. Is this really the gospel way of life?
He stepped down from heaven to move to earth. To us. The real estate wasn’t better, that’s for sure. His motivation wasn’t better scenery and a shorter commute. His move to us was to make a way for us to move toward Him.
If I were to imagine myself there in Bethlehem all those years ago, walking toward baby Jesus in His manger, I imagine I would be met with an inner conflict. Yes, this baby is to be the Savior of the world; however, I think I would be wrestling with the thought of how dirty I felt in His presence. He was born as an act of love to save me, yet if this baby could comprehend all the struggles in my brain and all the sins I wrestle with…well, wouldn’t that be a tad inappropriate?
At Christmastime especially, I can find myself dreaming about what it would be like to have that special someone. We all have a desire to be loved, and this desire can show up even more at this time of year. We like to indulge this desire by filling our time with over-romanticized forms of entertainment.
I always have good intentions and convince myself that I’ll find the time to practice what I pin. But, if you are like me, those intentions are hopeful at best. Well, enough was enough. I went for it. I crossed a bunch of pins off of my list for the party. And my realization? I’d been procrastinating and avoiding the work because I thought it would take too long. But when I started creating, I actually had more energy and made better use of my time. Conclusion? God has given us each amazing gifts and talents, and when we live into those strengths, we become a fuller version of the person He created us to be.
Even though scripture tells us to focus on our inward beauty, ladies, let’s not pretend we don’t care about our outward beauty. We love to get dressed up, we love to be told we look stunning, we like to take time to make our hair look special for an outing with friends, we like to wear clothing that accentuates our personal body type. While our inward beauty is the most important aspect about us, we should appreciate our outward beauty for the gift God made it to be.
Jesus did not intend for us to live life in chaos. He is the Prince of Peace. His desire is for His precious children to sit at His feet, in the midst of the loud voices and distractions of the world. Despite the soft but chilling voice of anxiety. Jesus overcame fear when He died and rose from the grave. We are not to live our lives in a way that seems like Jesus’ sacrifice wasn’t enough.
Our identity is not in manliness or womanliness but godliness. It's less about sexual orientation and more about gospel orientation. We must find our identity in Christ. Then, and only then, can our hearts truly change. Then, and only then, will we love the things He loves.
Our culture gives us this unfortunate idea that we have to perfect ourselves. To truly be successful you need to eliminate all of your weaknesses. You need to hold your own. You need to keep it together. You need to be a completely well rounded person. But how boring, really.
You will not wake up from your daydreaming with a closer relationship with God, a healthier body, a cleaner room, and a scrapbook full of adventures until you put in real action to get there.