(from National Convention 2012. right here is a group of beautiful people who were created to do different things and love one another...and all of these people do a pretty dang good job of loving.)
At a young age, I started to live by the tried and true motto of:
Alright. So I did that. When I was younger...it made sense. I hear stories of kids who are told that and their immediate response is: 'Well who else would I be?'
Then you hit 13 or 14 and start question if 'yourself' is good enough. You start to believe 'yourself' isn't cool...and the game of comparison begins.
I was known as 'mini martha stewart' and at about that age...I began to HATE that title.
I stopped baking, crafting, and creating and started to aim for a life of well...whatever it is that teenagers are 'supposed' to do. Hang out, watch stupid movies, listen to stupid music, go to stupid places, and talk about meaningless things.
Is that who I wanted to be?
At the time, yes.
Then a couple years later...my life was changed. There wasn't any special event. I just remember being at a camp and realizing 'This is NOT what life is about.' To this day I do believe that the holy spirit was beginning to tug on my heart and then began the never-ending process of transforming me to be more like Christ.
Now, I'm learning to stand by that same motto.
I know the whole 'love yourself' message can be overplayed and put into the wrong light. A lot of times, that message is used to embrace everything about yourself...sins, shortcomings, and a lot of stuff you should not be embracing. However, I do believe that God intends for us to see beauty in ourselves and in others.
Everyone is a sinner.
And everyone has lots of things that make them beautiful.
Yeah, it's a hard balance! Because we ARE sinners and filthy rags. But think about it...it's because we have dual natures that we have to preach 'loving ourself' and 'hating ourself' at the same time.
We should hate the sin in us, but we should LOVE the Christ in us.
I think what I want to come out of what I'm saying is this message:
Love one another.
I want to be a home to people. I want people to want to come to me because I shine the love of Christ. Will I ever be that way? I don't know. If it ever happens it will be by the grace of God.
But I'm tired of Christians judging other Christians based on legalistic, cultural differences.
Children of God should be free to be themselves without other children of God judging them. God makes everyone differently. And sometimes we will not understand the other person and why they are so different.
That being said...you don't have to accept things that are wrong in the sight of God. But regardless of if you agree with the person...we are called to love, not judge.
I'm not really sure what made me think of all of this. I just had the idea of loving one another on my mind.
So I guess I want to end by saying this:
Be the arms of Christ.
Go be a home for people who simply need love.
God is love.