I have been thinking a lot lately about one of the main criticisms of Christians. And other religious groups, for that matter. Hypocrisy. I am not talking about the whole “drinking alcohol is bad” or “cussing is wrong,” tiny things that do not actually matter. If you do not know this, it is time you did. Jesus drank wine. I know, this might be tough for some to accept. Hold on to your seats. Jesus actually changed water to wine at a wedding so the guests could party, dance and have a good time. Don’t even get me started on the cursing issue, damn it.
I am talking about the big hypocrisies. At least big in my eyes. I am talking about identifying as a Christ follower but not making sacrifices for our Lord and others. My Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice. He sacrificed His Life. In my eyes, you can boil down the life of my Jesus to loving God, loving others and sacrifice. And I do think it is one of the biggest mistakes Christ followers make. We don’t like to get dirty. We don’t like to get out of our comfort zones. We don’t like (or allow) our Abba to change or mess up our lives. But the thing is, our Abba’s presence should change or mess up our lives. And this is why I fail at full sacrifice for others and my Abba. I used to think the focus on sacrifice should be what I sacrifice; now I know it is about my reasons for doing so.
One of my favorite things about Christ’s life was His love for living for others. For Him, it wasn’t a sacrifice. It was the result of a Heart full of Abounding Love from His Abba. It wasn’t the act or sacrifice; it was the reason for doing so. And this is where I suck. I get so focused on the act. I forget about the Abounding Love and Grace I am shown on a daily basis. And this makes me look at everything differently. It changes the way I look at every interaction.
So, to all of my friends I have bailed on or said, “No” to, I am sorry. It is not at all a representation of Who I base my spiritual life around. It is not who I want to be. It is who I am when I focus on the act instead of the reason for doing every act. It is the result of not allowing that Gorgeous, Perfect, Abounding Love to flow through me.
Giving yourself to others and a Devine Being looks different to everyone. It is something personal requiring inner-reflection. A mysterious, Abounding Love is my reason. It is not something I have fully grasped, nor will I ever come close to understanding. It is profound. It is relentless. It is fulfilling.
Regardless of your beliefs, think about a life lived with others and for others. Think about a life in which you are fully engaged in the well-being and interests of those around you. Think about a life in which you actually and fully enjoy others. When I think about this in my own life, it looks beautiful. And purposeful. And meaningful. And lovely.