My pastor, Jamie George, recently said something in a sermon that caused my eye to twitch a little bit (my usual physical reaction in a moment of confusion, shock, or epiphany).
ΓÇ£I exist not just to bring him glory, but also to inspire someone else.ΓÇ¥
Wait. So, youΓÇÖre saying that my ΓÇÿpersonal relationship with Jesus ChristΓÇÖ is suppose to involve other people? I thought this whole thing was between God and me, a two way street, one on one. Apparently not.
There is a reason why weΓÇÖre born into families and communities, no matter how messed up they may be. Our life is not our own – and this is not just in the ΓÇ£Jesus, my life is yoursΓÇ¥ sense. This means that our life is a weapon, an instrument, a force for good or evil in the daily existence of those around us.
In the past, I bought into the thinking that I could become more like Christ every day by simply reading my Bible in the mornings and praying before bed, yet during the day, I would speak hurtful words to my sister, we would fight, I would judge her, I would complain to God that she was the only person in my life that caused any trouble. I wish I could go back and shake the younger version of myself by the shoulders and say, ΓÇ£YouΓÇÖre missing the point! God is using this relationship to refine you.ΓÇ¥ But for some reason, I thought that growth only happens when weΓÇÖre alone with God.
As IΓÇÖve learned to lean into the difficult relationships in my life, IΓÇÖm finding that our moments of adoration and stillness before God are what prepares us for growth.
If Jesus said, ΓÇ£Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends,ΓÇ¥ then may we get to the point where we can say, ΓÇ£This person who gets under my skin is a glorious opportunity for me to find my strength in God and be an example of ChristΓÇÖs long- suffering and grace.ΓÇ¥
I am praying that our days wont be filled with the ΓÇ£upsΓÇ¥ of praying to God or reading his word and the ΓÇ£downsΓÇ¥ of displaying frustration and anger to those who wrong us. Instead, let us ΓÇ£take this vow,ΓÇ¥ that we will live a life of steadfastness and commitment, receiving GodΓÇÖs grace and love and then giving it away to every life we come into contact with.