23 November 2010

stories

what is the story that you are writing with your life?
is your life a testimony of your faith?

lately I feel like questions regarding the kind of life I want to live have been popping up all over the place. and it has been more than the typical question of a recent college graduate of what I want to do with my life. it is more holistic. what is the story that I am writing with my life? in every situation. in every action. in every attitude.

I came to dc with an idealistic all you need is love approach to changing the world and quickly learned that often times, love is not nearly enough. you need truth. and strategy. and money doesn't hurt either. since then, the past year has been a lesson in standing firm in the truth. and it has been invaluable to learn how I can live in truth despite the relativistic world that surrounds me. but now, I find I have begun to forget what it looks like to love people. I have spent so much time and energy learning how to speak the truth, but in many ways, I have forgot that truth must always be spoken in love. yes, I need to stand firm and speak the truth. but what I know to be true should have no ultimate bearing on how well I love people. no ultimate bearing on how I am called to live in community with them.

and that line is so hard to walk. how do I speak the truth and yet not allow it to affect the fact that I am called to love people who may not know the truth? how do I love people no matter what? with no strings attached. and I mean really love people. it is easy to say, yes we must speak the truth in love. but I think a lot of the time we forget that saying it is not enough. we don't love people with our words. we love people with our actions. faith without deeds is dead. truth without love is nothing.

let no debt remain outstanding except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. the commandments...are summed up in this one command: "love your neighbor as yourself."

especially in the last year, I think I have gotten used to living in a polarized, categorized, black-and-white world where it seems impossible to love someone with no strings attached while still speaking of the absolute Truth that is Christ. where we constantly say we must speak the truth in love but rarely remember what it looks like to love someone well. we forget that loving someone well is not about us. it is about them. it is about listening and understanding another point of view and not dismissing it (even if we know it is wrong). because to love someone well we need to understand how they best receive love. and the world is not black-and-white so much of the time. it is messy. and broken. and Jesus ate dinner with prostitutes and tax-collectors. he did not sit above them preaching the truth. he was truth. and he was love.

so I have to actually live my story, not just write it. I have to love people and I have to stand in the truth. and this principle seems simple enough. and it is easy to do this with my words. but just so much harder with my actions. I will let you know how it goes.

2 comments:

joyce said...

This is such a challenge. Ever since reading "Searching for God Knows What", I have been asking God to help me discern how to love people in a way that would tear down the walls of hurt and fear that the world forces us all to barricade ourselves with. How to not give them what I think they need,but to give them what THEY think they need. After all, that is their truth - their reality. Putting this into action is to learn to try and keep my opinion to myself, to treat them with more respect and gentleness,to monitor my motives and strive for the purity of cultivating a servant's heart.

M said...

I was convicted yesterday about not speaking the truth in love. When others hurt me, I act defensive so they wont see how their painful words affect me. I want to learn how to show love in my pain. I want to consider others need for love. I want to realize that I am called to love ALL people not just those that I know I am specifically called to love. Thank you for your honest and challenging words.