You brush your teeth

For your teeth you’ll spend a good couple minutes once, if not twice a day, on an extremely focussed activity designed to maintain their health. Day in, day out, ritualistically, with zero plans of ever stopping.

Every few months you’ll pay not insignificant money to expose yourself to an expert who may well cause you pain as they remedy and reconstruct that which needs doing.

Many of us have a conviction that if something goes awry with our teeth we’ll do what’s necessary and pick up the tab – without too many questions asked.

Focussed daily activity, six monthly one-to-one involvement with a highly trained professional, significant budget. For your teeth.

For your soul, what will you do?

Zapped or Trained?

People in pursuit of goals / improvement, whether physical or mental, often engage rigorously in training. Undertaking activities that they won’t ever actually do (lifting barbells, memorising verb conjugations etc), in order to enhance their ability to perform activities that they will actually do (play sport, or speak a foreign language).

We engaged in a brutal training session at a church leadership session last night. We had a row of people, and one by one we had 60 seconds with each of them to share a prophetic word or encouragement.  Some people we knew well, others less so.  It was hard and draining – again and again standing in front of someone asking the Lord to speak through you  – 15 times in 15 minutes.

It ‘worked’ – i.e. the people receiving were actually encouraged.  But the real idea was to build our ability to encourage people in whatever time, (whether 30 seconds or three hours), we have with someone, (stranger or friend).

Training. Specific activities designed to increase our ability to hear from the Lord and encourage others. Make you sweat a little.  Growing to be a more encouraging person.

Because how else is it actually going to happen?  You gonna be zapped by the encouragement lightning bolt walking down the street one day?

“Train yourself to be godly. Physical training has some value, but godliness has value in all things”

A Fruitful Freedom

The love of Christ cuts us free from caring about what others think of us. In Him we have the approval and affection of the One whose opinion matters above all. So we’re free from the tyranny of people pleasing and reputation management. 

AND

The love of Christ compels us to impact and bless people in his name. We’re deeply concerned ambassadors, conscientious about not putting stumbling blocks in anyone’s way. We care about people’s perception. 

So, we don’t care, and we care the most. 

It’s using our freedom, to serve in love, in the realm of reputation. 

Easier said than done, but if we marinate in the message, increasingly cooperate with his cutting and compelling, we’ll see this fruitful freedom more and more in our lives.