The responses and opened dialogue with you guys has probably been one of the coolest things I’ve been apart of lately! I am absolutely LOVING the responses I’ve been receiving. They keep trickling in and I’ll continue to post a few of them. I wish I could have a face-to-face conversation with all of you about these simple truths; from the funny ones to the ones that you can tell have come out of circumstances that have made you the amazing people you all are today. If you are reading this now, even if you have stumbled across this randomly, feel free to post a comment below about your simple truths.
Alright, some of the ones that have still trickled in….
1. He is always Faithful!! It is so amazing that no matter how many times I turn my back or am questioning things, God will always love me…and that love even grows over time! I need to have more faith…
2. More of love. I always thought I knew what love was, but I had never had anyone “slap” me in the face and then have me turn around and show them love still. In Kenya those situations really happened, and I had to learn what true love is. I don’t even think I fully understand it all yet, love is a great and powerful thing. Our God is amazing for loving us.
3. The Bible was real back in the O.T. times, but still really is true today!!!! The same God that was the God of Moses is the same God to you and me! I need to remember that our God can heal, forgive, and love the same as He did back then! I am also learning so much from the Holy Spirit and I understand that God can do all of that through the H.S. through me!! I am totally humbled by that. The main thing I have loved learning about is the Holy Spirit…. He is crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!
4. If we are supposed to live just like Christ lived, then doesn’t that mean we are supposed to live the same kind of simple life that He did? This is something I am still figuring out… Christ didn’t have anything, but He was the most joy filled, most lovable, most perfect human being! I am not 100% on all of this, but I do know that I want to be JUST like Him!!
(Thanks Whit! You are beautiful to the core and I love hearing your wisdom!)
Amen sister! To all of that, esp #4, which is what this journey for me is all about, seeking simplicity in life and in Christ. I over-complicate everything and I have so many unnecessary desires and possessions and I just want to be RID of them. I’ve found that the more I have, the more responsibilities I have, the more I have to keep up with, and the less time, space, and energy I have for service. Even in the smallest of ways.
First, “Honesty is the best policy.” I always held that honesty was the way to go regardless of the theoretical situation, and I truly believe that honesty is always a good choice. Not an easy choice, or a comfortable choice, but a good choice. I really value the ability to be honest and to give others (and yourself) the benefit of the doubt by providing your best/most truthful self.
Next, “Listening is very hard, but also the only way you can know/help someone.” I am guilty of psychoanalyzing friends, mind-reading, and jumping to conclusions. None of these have anything to do with listening for more than five seconds. They all have to do with insecurity, arrogance, and at best a misguided desire to be helpful. Real listening takes time, effort, and sometimes awkwardness (and shock — silence). It is much easier to put our own experiences on others and reduce them into easy formulas. But our experiences can at best help us to relate. It is others’ experiences that allow us to do the following: offer advice that is useful, learn new insights into ourselves , and grow in actual relationship. “We can’t control everything and everyone needs help”
Finally, “Pain is a gift, and risk is worthwhile.” Pain is truly a gift. I recently heard that when Christ healed lepers he was restoring the gift of pain to them. In a very simple, palpable way — pain keeps us safe. But it also is one of the only ways that we are motivated to truly change. Do I wish for pain and run joyfully into risk? No, but pain and risk are necessary evils and running from them only leads to paralysis and hopelessness.
(Thanks Jim! I feel like you were telling me exactly what God has been trying to remind me of lately! Thank you! Such [simple] truths!)
I wanted to post both of these in their [near] entirety because they put into words the thoughts/ feelings that I can’t always articulate. I strongly believe that when life boils down to it and we discard all the clutter, the only thing we have to cling to IS the truth, in every season of our lives. Claiming the truth that comes through Christ changes our perspective on everything, even pains.
This last response above has resonated with me the most. Some of you don’t know me well, but it doesn’t take very long to know that I’m strong-willed, opinionated, and as they say down here “a hot mess”. But who isn’t ‘a hot mess’… REALLY!? When I am honest with myself, life boils down to this: to live is Christ and to die is gain. Christ’s life wasn’t luxurious, easy, or pain-free,… but it was for our eternal. That’s what I want to live for.
Not to run from the pain, but be liberated by it. To remember that God is faithful in spite of me, and that I should spend myself on others for the sake of Christ and look to him for new strength. If we are honest with ourselves, and others, what life boils down to, our basic need, is Jesus. It’s that simple. We complicate it. Not that life isn’t complicated, not that dealing with the junk isn’t hard work. People are a mess and therefore relationships between people are going to be twice the mess. But it all comes down to Jesus, and if we fix our eyes on that and rest in him, the clutter starts to clear away.
It’s about freedom. It’s about holiness. And I have a long, long way to go.
Truth consists in the mind’s giving to the things the importance they have in reality. –Jean Danielou
ἐμοὶ γὰρ τὸ ζῆν Χριστὸς καὶ τὸ ἀποθανεῖν κέρδος
|For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.-Philippians 1:21