relationship

Free from human opinion...

The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that. (Proverbs 29:25 MSG)

 

So often we are afraid to be generous to people around us, because we fear what others will think of us. Human opinion weighs heavy on whether or not we will be a generous person.

Many times we don't have conversations with people who really need to hear a kind word or friendly voice, because we are afraid of what they will think of us—will our words be valuable to them or not. Or even worse, we are fearful of what our friends, our spouses, or our "perceived audience" would think of us if we were to have a conversation with "that person."

And the same goes with giving our resources away. Often we don't want to be generous with our money or our things because we are not sure it will be replaced if we were to give it away. And if we don't get our resources replaced, then we won't have monetary or material wealth—we might become "less than" in the eyes of others.

Sometimes it's the opposite—what happens if people don't want what we have to give them... What if our money and things aren't good enough for them? Do we become less valuable of a person because we have been rejected?

We get this twisted idea that our wisdom, money or stuff defines who we are as a person.

How did we become accustomed to having our wisdom, money or material goods be the metric of our value to society? The answers are many, but at the core is our lack of deep understanding of how much we mean to God.

Free from human opinion...

Our value and identity isn't found in how much we know or tied to how much is in our bank accounts—it's found in a generous relationship with God. What I mean is this; God is generous with us, so that we can be generous with our neighbors—as freely and as generous God is to us, we are to be equally free and generous.

Being generous is tied to our trust in God—trusting that He will continue to meet our needs, and realizing our value is found in the extravagant love of Jesus.

When we digest these truths, we have the protection to be free from human opinion to live a generous life.

God wants you to live free from human opinion. Don't let what others think of you keep you from being generous.

Who Do You Want to Cry at Your Funeral...

2 Coffin-e1342802164862Think about this question: Who do you want to cry at your funeral? I know it is a little morbid to think about, but I was asked this question yesterday. Seriously think about it for a minute, because the people that you would want to cry at your funeral are the people that you in some way shape or form have left a deep impression on their hearts / souls. These are the people that you did life with, the people that you poured into and they did the same to you. You laughed with them, cried with them, and even became angry or frustrated with them at times.

To be frank, I have struggled the last couple of years to open myself up to people in this way. Sure I have my wife and three kids, my two best friends in Oregon, and a couple of coworkers, and maybe a few others, but the reality is I have been hesitant to be vulnerable to people. It’s doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with anybody, but really with myself... Yeah I know I could put the blame on people, like they are shallow, or you just can’t trust anybody these days - the actuality of it is I struggle with being in the moment and enjoying it. When you struggle with being in the moment you can’t focus on building relationships with the people around you.

It took me a little bit to answer the question. I guess I would want my family, my friends, people that I may have had some type of impact on (former students, past and present neighbors, and etc...). Anybody from anywhere needing a meal, I definitely would want food there and food to feed an army. I would want people who need to hear a good story or two and needing a good laugh.

nap and laugh- irish-thumb-500x471-288004When I hear the question, “Who do I want to cry at my funeral?” I don't really want anyone crying, I would rather have them laughing, either at me or with me... That's my goal now - I hope to focus on the moments and work on the relationships around me, and have a good laugh.