caught

akwittaspiritLeave a Comment

Lately, I’ve been thinking about things that I assumed to be true about my faith, God, and the Bible.  One of those things happens to be in Mark 1:17. When I read that Jesus was going to teach his disciples to be fishers of men, I heard that He was going to teach them to present the Gospel in a way that would make people profess their faith in Him. I think that’s a good thing. I hope people profess their faith in Jesus.  But as I read that, it wasn’t super powerful to me.  I didn’t really get why the disciples dropped their nets and followed. As I read it now, I’m wondering if there is more than I thought to being a fisher of men and being caught by Jesus. I’ve had conversations with wise people in my life recently who have reminded me that Jesus wants our hearts more than anything else.  Maybe being “caught” by Jesus or the Gospel means that He teaches me how to cultivate qualities of God in my heart- selflessness, love, humility, compassion, generosity, the list goes on.  That would result in a whole new way of living, don’t you think? I think Jesus wanted to “catch” his followers in this new way of living so that others would see it and be caught too.  (They would be fishermen, get it?) I think Jesus wants more than salvation prayers or even actions- He wants hearts that love the Lord and desire to … Read More

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giving differently

akwittafriendships, spiritLeave a Comment

To love is not to give of your riches  but to reveal to others their riches, their gifts, their value,  and to trust them and their capacity to grow.  -Jean Vanier, The Broken Body: Journey to Wholeness-   Giving to others can be tricky.  Especially when the ones you’re giving to are seen as poor or needy. There can be a weird power difference there.  An attitude of I’m doing a good thing by helping you.  You’re welcome.  And our guilt is relieved, so we move on. What if our actions of giving instead demonstrated genuine commitment to people? Yes, we have basic needs that need to be met- so I’m not proposing that we stop giving clothes, food, or money to each other. Please keep it up.  But if you stop there, you could miss something. It requires a radical kind of love to step out of your comfort zone and have a conversation with someone, especially if that someone is a part of a different social class.  And then continue to have conversations with them is even harder.  To let them be vulnerable with you and to be vulnerable with them is hardest. It is this kind of relationship that really empowers.  It is helpful and nice to be given things, but it is empowering to be known and told that you are strong and gifted.  And to know that those words have credibility because a person who knows you can point to times that you have demonstrated … Read More

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love yourself

akwittaspiritLeave a Comment

I’m processing through what I’ve assumed to be true about following Jesus and I’m finding that there might be more than I thought to some things. I’ve heard/read/listened to so many lessons about humility and self-sacrifice and putting others first.  I think these are great things! Jesus lived a life of service for sure.  But the way I’ve interpreted this before is that I should focus on other people.  Love them and do things for them until I can’t give any more.  That. is. exhausting. And then this week I read Matthew 22:37-39.  Jesus was talking to his disciples and told them, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (ESV emphasis mine) As yourself.  Love others the way that I love myself. I don’t need to only focus on other people.  God knows that I need attention too.  Not in an arrogant, narcissistic, me me me way, but in an intentional, refreshing, making me better way.   I’ve focused on loving myself by journaling and taking care of my body and taking pride in who I am.  There are some times in the past where I would have looked at this week and called myself self-centered because of how much I’ve thought about this.  Whatever. After investing in myself, I feel better equipped to love others. … Read More

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