Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Action and Motivation

So we've been talking action plans in small know, actually applying all the ideals and concepts and warm fuzzies you walk out of church with. On the way home tonight, I was talking with my cousin about a pretty deep and ongoing frustration in my life and she, not knowing what we've been covering, asked me "...and how are you going to show him love?"

The him in that question is a difficult person in my life. An admittedly vindictive, aggressive, insulting person who, from what I can tell, tries their best not to be happy. I paused. I had nothing real. Don't get me wrong, I know what to do. When they insult, don't retaliate. When they need help, give it without grudge.  When they lash out, remain calm and patient.

"I do all that, but honestly, not out of love."

I do it out of wanting to maintain my perception of self...out of not wanting to feel guilty if this person hurts themselves...out of trying to be part of maintaining a positive environment. None of that though, is love. Ego...guilt...avoidance, yeah, but not love.

We came to the conclusion that while the application is specific, people who show no apparent glimpses of lovability, require the application of agape, which is CRAZY difficult to develop. I've had conflicts with people where...even if we butted heads, I could clearly see where the issue was and where their damaged spots where...where my damaged spots were, took a step back and loved everything else. But easy. it's loving the pretty parts, not the whole person. Whole person love, especially when you can't see redeeming qualities...yeah...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Are you sure you want to be a Christian? Really sure?

Jesus asks Christians to give up a LOT of stuff in this life. Control of life choices, what we do with our bodies, money,'s a big decision.

When I first started training Brazilian jiu was quite an experience. The people were insanely warm and welcoming...and they threw me into a vomit inducing warm up. They were supportive and patient...and they paired me to spar with a bear of a man within a week. As an art, Brazilian jiu jitsu has an insanely high rate of attrition--it's estimated around 90% at each belt level. People aren't getting kicked out or failing. It's just that hard to stick with. I couldn't understand why, two months into training, I was begging to sign a contract, but the head instructor still wouldn't let me. "Are you sure?" I was asked over and over again.

I sometimes wonder what would happen if churches functioned in a similar manner. I'm not saying they should...I'm not even sure how you'd implement that, but to this day, I wonder.