I’ve been talking about love a lot recently. Most of my posts have centered around the idea of how to love others and how to love ourselves the way Jesus loves. The idea for me was sparked during a conference I went to over the spring of last year, the Orange Conference, its’ main theme being “it’s personal.” One of the speakers was Bob Goff, and of course, if you know anything about him, he’s all about loving people. This spark made me look at the way I live. How do I love others like Jesus? What does that look like? What steps can I take towards loving in his radical ways? The answer seems to be right in front of me, in front of all of us. We want to be better people. We want to make positive changes and influence in the lives of the people we come across. So, what do we do?
We do what Jesus did, we call out the greatness in others.
Have you ever been in a season of new? The past year of Danielle and I’s life has been filled with new. Since we got married last September, we thought it would be great to do all the things. From moving to job changes and doing life together, it’s been a wild journey. Everything is new, and new often means that fear begins to creep in. This is a perfect concoction for anxiety, isn’t anxiety just the best? I’ve talked about it on here before, but I’ve dealt with anxiety for a long time. The hard part was is that I was never really open about that fact, I tried to put on a face that I had it all put together, but the truth was, inside I was letting fear rule me. There were situations in high school that made me feel like if I didn’t have it all figured out I wasn’t enough. That led into college where everyone seemed smarter than me, and I would feel inferior to ask for help. I had been in a church job where if I wasn’t “cool” enough or got enough attention, I was seen as someone who wasn’t cut out for ministry or that I didn’t have enough “woo.”
I don’t say this to gain sympathy from you, reader. I simply talk about this because there was a moment during that college phase that helped me realize that the root of anxiety is fear, and fear is a punk.
“He answered, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
‘You have answered correctly,’ Jesus replied. ‘Do this and you will live.’
What does it look like to truly follow Christ? I think so many times for us we wonder if what we are doing is the right thing, if we are allowed to do or say different types of things, or if we can associate with certain people. We need to stop. We need to break free of the mindset that faith is a set of rules. Faith with Christ is a relationship, an authentic relationship shared with the creator of all things. It’s so easy in the church world mindset that we have to follow a certain list of rules in order to be allowed in the club. Following Christ is not about earning enough gold stars to go to heaven, it’s about a relationship of love with the king of kings. This can be difficult. We live in a modern age where following Christ can be pushed to the side. We have endless entertainment and can post pictures of our bible on Instagram without ever actually reading it. The crazy thing is, this has been a struggle since Jesus came onto the scene. No they didn’t have hours of shows to stream on Netflix or some Jesus and coffee aesthetic to keep up with on Instagram. What they had was the core of the struggle, what does it look like to truly follow Christ?