Welcome back friends! It’s Fri-YAY! Yay for chatting together again! Yay for the end of another work week! Yay because my husband will be home tomorrow and I can pee in peace!! And all the mothers out there reading this said… AMEN!
In just two days we get to celebrate the most amazing VICTORY ever!! Seriously, Easter is one of my favorite holidays!
Friends, Easter is a holiday of revolutions! Jesus came to overthrow a kingdom of darkness. He invaded the darkness with light, and people have been revolting ever since! It’s a quiet revolt that starts in our hearts. Jeremiah said the heart is deceitful above all things (17:9 NIV). Today, on this Good Fri-Yay, I’m inviting you to examine your heart, consider your ways, and maybe, just maybe join me in a revolution of love!
Now, I’m just curious, am I the only one out there who waits for the weekend every. single. week…just to be disappointed when the visions of sugar plums dancing in my head don’t actually come to life?
No matter what is on the agenda for my weekend, or what the previous weekend entailed, I still imagine the great family fun we’ll have together THIS weekend. I envision the early morning breakfast with coffee that my husband and I will share together while the children are still sleeping. I dream of the joy of attending church together on Sunday morning. I plan out our entire fairytale weekend, and BAM! Saturday morning assaults me like a drunken hit and run. By Sunday evening, I’m so out of it I don’t even know what happened or what in the world I was thinking! Can someone please lift a finger and tell me I’m not alone!?!
You know, EXPECTATIONS, can be silent relationship killers. I should know. I’m an expert at creating expectations. I’m also an expert at holding onto insecurity, pride, and unresolved pain. From time to time, each of these relationship killers takes up residence in my heart, but you wouldn’t know it from just looking at me.
In fact, if you peeked into my life, you’d see a typical American, homeschool, Christian family. I serve at my church. We participate in community events and a co-op group. We help others in need. My husband works, 40 hours, no 50 hours, no every moment he’s awake, unless he’s enjoying tv or Facebook. We pray over meals and at bedtimes. I have my quiet time and listen to my praise and worship music.
You can’t, however, see from the outside what I’m expecting (and neither can my family unless I tell them). You can’t hear the inner dialogue in my mind that questions EVERY choice I make. And I am quite careful to be sure that you don’t notice the tears that stream down my face when I’m hurting, which is really quite often.
On many days, my expectations, my insecurities, my pride, and my unresolved pain have captured my heart and left me focused on ME.
This month, we’ve been talking about WORTH. We’ve established that we have a worth in Christ Jesus which no one can steal from us. We know our worth is eternal. We know our worth led Christ to sacrifice the comfort of His throne for the trials and tribulations of this world.
Last week, Yvette reminded us that Christ has a worth, far more valuable than anything this world can offer us.
Today, I want to share with you that my worth (and your worth) is meaningless if we don’t appreciate the value of one another.
The truth about worth applies to every human being God has ever created!
It is so easy, even when we are constantly taking care of others, to completely forget about their worth. It happens gradually, and without a big to-do, but one day we realize we are completely focused on ourselves. Our hearts have betrayed us.
Friends, that’s not the message of the cross. Jesus didn’t come to bring glory or comfort to Himself even though he was God. Paul says in Philippians 2:5-8:
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Jesus: Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on the cross
Christ died for ALL of humanity, even the people I’m tempted not to love.
Can I be honest?
I think about myself A LOT! I want to be happy. I want to be fulfilled. I want my needs met. I want a lot of things, really.
Want a little more honesty? Sometimes I think about loving others. Sometimes I even do loving things, especially outside of my home. Still, the majority of my thought life is focused on ME.
Here’s what stabs me straight in the heart:
Christ said: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:39 NIV
He also said: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35 NIV
His actions said we are all WORTH IT, and I am commanded to love others like Him!
What if I thought about how I’ve hurt someone’s feelings as often as I think about how they’ve hurt mine?
What if I envision the expectations others have of me as often as I think about the ones I have for them?
Better yet, what if I just asked someone how I could love them today?
What if I asked my husband? My children? That co-worker who gets on my nerves? The lady who’s taking forever to put her money in her wallet when I’m really in a rush to get out of the store?
What would happen if I laid down my own agenda, and chose to seek out ways to love those around me?
A revolution, that’s what would happen! Our world would change. Our schools would be safe. Our hearts would find rest, and our homes would have peace.
That’s no easy task! It means I’ve got to choose who I’m going to live for. I can live for myself, or I can live for Christ. I just can’t do both.
When I live for myself, I seek out my worth in all sorts of things. I find ways to prove who I am.
When I live FOR CHRIST, I seek out my worth in loving others, just as He has loved me. I focus my heart on whom I belong to.
I don’t know about you, but I want to live for Christ. I want to bring glory to His name.That means, in His strength, I have to crucify a few bad thoughts.
Today, on this Good Friday 2018, I’m putting to death:
- My expectations that my family can make me happy.
- My expectations that the people around me will always get along.
- My insecurity that my husband might find someone prettier, skinnier, smarter, or less talkative one day.
- My insecurity that my children might hate me for being an imperfect mother.
- My prideful attitude which causes me to compare myself to people I actually admire.
- My prideful heart which keeps me from admitting when I’ve made a mistake.
- My unresolved pain over childhood traumas.
- My unresolved pain over adult relationships gone bad – really bad!
But I’m not just crucifying these thoughts. No, I’m also asking God to resurrect a new heart in me.
Father create in me a heart of flesh not of stone. Teach me to be humble, quick to admit my mistakes and slow to judge others. Teach me to live in the victory of today, rather than the regret of yesterday. Help me to surrender my expectations for tomorrow, and trust in your perfect plan for my life. Father, as you do all this in me, open my eyes to SEE the people in my life. Open my heart to love the people you have created with a passion that emulates your love for me. Father, I can’t accomplish these things for myself, but you can. You can do all this and more. Amen.
Let’s celebrate the cross by putting to death some of our old sinful ways, and resurrecting a new way of living for Christ! It starts with a single decision to say YOU are just as important as me.
Let’s start a quiet revolution of love. It might get a little bloody, but are you willing to rise up and bleed with me?
I love how Mandisa says it in one of her newest songs: we all bleed the same!