It's really important to me to speak Truth to people. Not "tell the truth," although that's important too. I mean speak Truth. This is how Jesus spoke to others and I want to do the same.
It usually looks like this: I validate, encourage, normalize. I think the human experience has way more commonalities than it does differences. All moms are doing their best. All of us want the best for our kids. Sometimes those details look different, but at the end of the day we are all on the same team. And all of us want meaningful lives. The details of what makes life meaningful may differ, but at the end of the day, we want to feel we've made a difference somehow. We all want to succeed. And when I talk to people in my life, whether it is personally or professionally, I try to speak in ways that communicate Truth to them. I'm on their team, no matter what that team is. We all are.
So yesterday, when the sermon at church was about some things that are true about us NO MATTER WHAT, I was pretty excited.
We're studying 1 John and it's been fun to watch my husband (who is the pastor of our church) get all excited about it. He says he has so much to say about it he could preach on it for a year (don't worry, missio, he won't). He says he may start a blog (two bloggers in one house? uh oh...)
Anyway, there are five things that the Bible says about us in 1 John that are true no matter what. No matter what we think, no matter what we believe, no matter what we have experienced. That's pretty amazing.
Here they are:
1. Your sins are sent away (like far, far away). Side note: sin is anything that separates you from God. So this means that whatever separates us from God was taken care of when Jesus died. I don't need to get all hung up on all my mistakes, all the ways I've failed. There's no point to that. Wow.
2. You know God - listen to that still voice, look at the beauty of nature, think of the good you see in yourself and in others... you've seen God!
3. You are strong. Yup. I have seen strength in people who thought they were weak. I've seen friends handle circumstances beyond their control. I wasn't sure I was ever going to get out of the depression I sank into after Amani came home and I started living the reasons why adoption is so tough... but I did. I didn't think I could make it through losing my dad but here I am. I'm still kickin', even on the tough days.
4. The word of God lives in you - this doesn't mean the Bible necessarily. When the Bible talks about the "Word of God" it describes how God became a living, breathing, alive being. That was Jesus and he lives on in the Holy Spirit in all of us. All the crazy details aside, God is in you. This is why I love the greeting "Namaste" - the divine in me salutes the divine in you. That is so incredibly beautiful it kinda makes me cry. I can see the face of God whenever I look at my friends. Amazing.
5. You have overcome the evil one. I love shared victories. Last year, I ran the Rugged Maniac with a group of seriously kick-ass women and we decided we would run as a team. Some of us (ahem, not me) were in much better physical condition and could have left the rest of us in the dust, but we worked as a team to get to the finish line. It was one of my most favorite days. The Bible says we get to share Jesus' victory. He died and came back to life to bring us back to God, to defeat evil. He won. But he did it for us. We won. What what? That's crazy.
This is the kind of Truth I want to speak into everyone I know. I'm not really comfortable speaking "Christian-ese" - that language we often use when talking about Jesus. But in regular words, I imagine it sounds like this: "God loves you, he is on your side, I can see God in you, you can do this."
So, my crazy crew of readers: what if we lived like these things were true? What if we lived like we knew God was FOR us and that we already have what it takes to be amazing? What kinds of things would we do if we stopped being afraid, stopped feeling insecure? What if we remembered that God is already with us?
Those things are true, friends, no matter what. Wow. So go ahead, be amazing. You already are.
Just for fun: here's how the some of the missio kids taught us the Greek words for those five things yesterday. I love how they are cracking up! I seriously love my church! Can you see who was the "evil one" HA!