Disentangled - No Strings Attached




April 4, 2014
Journal devotional

A few thoughts this morning:

I need to separate myself emotionally from taking on or carrying other people's emotions. Understanding who I am and being gently strong and true to that person. It is Christ in me that is the hope of glory. Finding him in the center of my being, and trusting him. Relying on him alone, not upon the emotions and reactions of those around me, to validate who I am. Especially those closest to me, like my husband. I need to learn to let people express themselves without forcing my opinion and expectations into the equation.

Truly accept people for who they are. No strings attached.

Isn't this what makes Jesus stand out above any religious system or organization? Think about the many times we read about him in the Gospels. I'm reading through the book of Matthew this week. Jesus has once again shocked me with the truth. He’s showing me that my ideas are slightly twisted and therefore completely wrong. Christianity, my version of Christianity, is racked with opinions and fleshly ideas of godliness. Disgusted with what I have made of something so beautiful, I am astounded every time I read about the accounting of Jesus’ life. It’s like, who is this God/guy? Is he for real?

And if he is the founder of this religion why are we not more like him?


The woman at the well and the woman caught in the act of adultery, a snippet in the lives of these two women, tells us much about Jesus and how unlike him my version, and maybe yours, of Christianity is. I am inclined to judge these women, immediately, based on their mistakes. Their actions influencing my opinion of them and the amount love I am willing to give them. I know, this is gross, but it's true. I would have to actually see them making better choices, choices I thought were good for them, before I would fully accept them. This is not Jesus' way. He accepted both women, he loved them and offered them hope, immediately, not after they changed or proved themselves. He asked nothing of them, and in exchange he gave them dignity and love. Amazing right? He is so un-religious. He looks at and loves the heart of each individual person and it is never based on what we do to earn it. This is Jesus. This is what Christianity should be. Every act of obedience is an act of grace, a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the one who first loves us.

Even though I know how much I fall short of perfection, everyday, still, I am so judgmental of other people's mistakes. Why am I like this? We make so many mistakes. Jesus' love and acceptance of each one of us does not change when we make wrong choices and mistakes. This is something I don't really understand. I want to get this. To be more like Jesus. I want to know people, to be surrounded by people that are willing to put away their criticism and live and love the way Jesus did and his followers should. Wouldn't this be like a community of grace? Imagine how awesome it would be if we could get this, and do this.


Live out your God-created identity.
Live generously and graciously toward others,
the way God lives toward you.
Matthew 5:48 Msg.



I'm learning to love.
In grace,

Renee


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