Saturday, April 14, 2012

31 day Marriage Challenge

Day 1 -

Today's Challenge:

Read 1 Corinthians 13 (the love chapter) and jot down some of the thoughts that come to mind such as:
  • What is God's definition of love? Pretty amazing and perfect! 
  • What are the characteristics of love? 
  • Patient, Kind, Does not envy, Does not boast, is not proud, does not delight in evil, rejoices in truth, always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres, never fails!
  • In what areas of "loving" do I stumble the most? Trusting
  • What are a few of the steps I can take toward change? Let go of my pride and trust! Be vulnerable

  • I will be patient.
  • I will be kind.
  • I will not envy.
  • I will not boast nor be prideful.
  • I will not delight in evil but will rejoice in the truth.
  • I will always protect.
  • I will always trust.
  • I will always hope.
  • I will always persevere in my marriage.
  • My love will never fail.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Analogy of a parking space

The other day I parked in the parking lot at Target and sat in my car for a few minutes answering some text messages. I glanced over at the car in the space next to me and thought, "oh no! I must be parked crooked!" since I was clearly not lined up with that vehicle.
I proceeded to get out of my car and looked at the white lines. I was parked perfectly straight within them! It was the car next to me that was very crooked.
In that moment I had a bit of a reflection on how we live our lives comparing with other people's. As a follower of Jesus Christ I thought, how many times do I compare my life to other people's rather than to Jesus' life?
Jesus' life is like the "white lines" of a parking space. It is permanent and correct (assuming the city worker's have painted them straight, but that's besides the point in this analogy ;) and we are instructed in the Bible to model our lives after Jesus, who came to earth and showed us how we ought to live. If we are aligning our lives within the "white lines", so to speak, we can rest in peace.
Too often however (I'd say most of the time for many of us) we look to the lives of other people - especially other "Christians" and try to model our lives after theirs. We are often disappointed and sometimes confused and frustrated when our lives don't match up to theirs. OR we exert so much energy trying to make our lives look like theirs only to be dissatisfied and empty when we reach that goal.
I know that I have lately been focused so much on the lives of certain believers that I admire and look up to and have felt that my life is below par because I'm not in a third world country or out on the mission field somewhere living only off the support of others or serving in full-time ministry at a church, etc. etc.
But when I look at the life of Jesus - those white lines - I see that there are other things in my life that I need to be focusing on and working toward. Serving everyone like He did. Loving everyone like He did. Right where He was at.
Of course it can go both ways. Sometimes we also focus too much on the lives of those lives appear crooked and we think, "well my life looks pretty good! at least I'm not committing that sin!" when in reality we, again, need to fix our eyes on the things above, on the life of Jesus, on aligning our lives with those white lines, and we'll be on the right track and stop judging others and allowing ourselves to be full of meaningless pride.