These posts have put forth ideas; ideas that challenge what we know, remind us who we are, and ultimately, propose something that may be more beneficial to ourselves, our loved ones, and to the worlds around us.
You can download my book, take a couple of hours to read it, and ponder what I was really getting at in writing it (which I recommend of course),
or I can just tell you.
So…SPOILER ALERT! I’m about to tell you why I wrote what I did and what main points I am trying to get at.
God is Love.
He doesn’t just show love, or have love, or give it (especially not just when it’s “deserved”).
He IS it.
He exists as the very idea, practice, concept, and embodiment of what we know as
Christians are humans. Whether you identify as one or not, we all have this in common. And as humans, that means we all screw things up…
We Christians are no exception. We have screwed up loving, serving, and representing God in more ways than I could count in a lifetime. Because we are human.
But the biggest way we have messed up is in forgetting that God is Love in all that He is and in all that He does. To forget this truth really is the biggest mistake we can make because how we view God vastly affects every other area of our lives. If we let the love of God take a back seat to other things we think, hear, or believe about Him, it is like a crack in the windshield that slowly spreads until we can no longer see.
It slowly destroys our connection with Him.
It slowly kills our opinions of ourselves.
It slowly infects the way we engage with the world.
If we forget God IS Love, then we step off the true path, even by only a slight margin, and years down the road find ourselves whacking through
What can we do about it?
At the end of my book, I make a disclaimer—which is funny, because people typically put those at the beginning, but I’m weird so…get used to it.
I acknowledged and confessed that I am much more gifted at offering critiques than solutions. Most of the book is laying out ways in which churches have gotten it wrong, places in which we have wavered off the path, and much less of it says “Here is what we do about that.”
But I will offer this one thing here and now. If we can truly work with all our effort at this one thing, I completely believe that pastor, member, done, or none (those who want nothing to do with church or religion),
no matter where we find ourselves on the spectrum, if worked at with persistence and openness, I KNOW that we can find ourselves headed back in the right direction of authentic faith, loving community, and truly purposeful callings for our lives.
Are you ready?
Here it is:
If God truly is Love, and if we really are the objects of His greatest affection, then we simply cannot move forward in life until we learn to trust that these two ideas really are true. He really IS love. He really does love me.
A mind and a heart that trusts
is one that can relax.
If I did not trust my wife, then sleep—especially sleep in the same bed as her—would be the single most dangerous and terrifying thing I could do. I would suffer greatly due to lack of sleep and constant anxiety from fear that she might decide to smother me in the middle of the night when I am most vulnerable.
Instead, there is no better part of my day than when I slip under those warm covers and slowly wander off to the land of Nod, knowing that my wife next to me loves me greatly, wants what is best for me, and will still be there for me in the morning.
Love, peace, true connection, and the joy that comes with purposeful living simply cannot be attained without trust.
And we are not good at trusting God.
- That is why we fight so much and tear apart relationships for the sake of our “beliefs.” We feel we must get it right when it comes to our theology, or else God will be upset and we won’t be legitimate children of His.
- That’s why we work so hard to fix and change people rather than simply loving them without expectation. We feel we must please God by “changing lives” and “doing His work” or else we will have nothing to show for our efforts, and God will be disappointed when we show up
- We do not trust God so we strategize, plan, calculate, fundraise, train, learn, employ, and go into mounds of debt constructing methods that ultimately place people second to systems. We think being a good steward means figuring it out so we can make Him proud of our job well done.
- It’s why we only look to the formally trained as experts on matters of God, believing that some are chosen even though God gave His image to us all.
- It is why we constantly strive to do more and do it better rather than simply being who we already are. We are convinced He lied when He said we are completely loved right here and right now, and that He will love us more if we have done more or done better.
- It’s why we think and care more about bringing thousands of people to church than bringing one person to a real experience of His love. 1000 is definitely better than 1, right?
If we worked to trust God;
- To trust that He loves us more than He loves our correct theology;
- trust that He loves us without expectation of ever changing;
- trust that He longs to be with us everywhere and not just in certain structures, organizations, or buildings;
- trust that He sees you, and me, and the super weird guy that creeps literally everyone out, as someone JUST as qualified and capable of representing Him as the megachurch pastor with six degrees;
- trust that He loves us for who we are—no matter who that is—and not what we do,
- and trust that out of the billions of people that have ever lived, YOU are the only one He sees in this moment; trust that YOU are the one worth giving up the 99 for;
If we trusted that God really IS Love
our problems would stop needing solutions.
Because Love is on our side
and He’s got it all figured out.
If you find yourself asking the very appropriate question,
“How do I start trusting God (or a higher power, or fate, or the universe)?”
then I want to invite you to something I will be doing in the coming weeks.
Starting next week, we will begin moving from problems to solutions, from theories to practice.
I will be publishing a series of articles guiding you through some practices I have personally found extremely helpful. Practices that have taught me to
- trust God with my past, present, and future
- accept and embrace myself as I am and not as I “should be”
- and authentically love others without having to try so hard or get it right
*Additionally, for the first 10 people who email me with the subject line “Practicing Trust,” I will personally video chat with you to flesh out what these spiritual practices may look like for you specifically*
These practices are great not only for spiritual
If you’re willing to embark on the journey with me, stay tuned for our first post coming Tuesday, October 2nd. And don’t forget to share the love by inviting others to join us. Encourage them to read the articles, subscribe for the weekly email reminders, or get them in personal contact with me.
This journey is meant to be lived out and walked together.
I look forward to journeying with you.
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For more on church and how to live like Jesus, check out Giving Up Sunday: Looking for more from faith, community, and calling available on Amazon now