The Meaning of Life: I love being right!
There were two right turn lanes, with red arrows. My Dilemma: wait patiently or defy the No Right Turn on Red signs all over the intersection. My gosh NOBODY IS COMING. I had even picked the inside turn lane in case conditions were favorable. Scan for cops. Inch forward. See if anyone looks like the type to call 911.
Suddenly, a perpetrator flies through the intersection without an ounce of compunction. From the outside lane, y’all! My head goes on swivel like a barn owl. Where is a cop when you need one?
When the light turned green, I pursued. He clearly needed me to pull up next to him and school him with my patented “you could have killed someone” glare.
Such is my tenuous relationship with grace. Justifiable for me; unacceptable for you. I have been a bossy-pants all my life. A front-row sitting, know-it-all, do-gooder type that is always ready to explain to you how I did something better.
God I love being right!
Until I became a mother, which is a guarantee of rarely ever being right and second-guessing every decision you make. Also, your children demonstrate an immediate and unfiltered response to self-righteousness that reveals it for what it is: soul-sucking and relationship-destroying.
When I became aware that I was doing everything wrong as a mom and a Christian, I felt a hollow lack of purpose in my life. What is life for if it’s not to be right, or correct, or better? I began to search scripture for the meaning of life. Cliff’s Notes head’s up: is has nothing to do with knowing everything. Here it all is, summed up in the most succinct verses in the Bible:
“’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’. There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-32
Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you(Luke 6:27-28)
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. (Romans 12:10)
Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. (1 John 1:10)
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. (John 13:35)
Whatever your given vocation or talents, we are commanded to love people, and thus show the way to life in Christ. If you want to know the reason you are on earth, it’s to love all people, in all seasons, in all our work, no matter the circumstances.
Love is more important than being right. Love is proof that the Holy Spirit resides in you; it generates miracles. Love gives us the ability to walk humbly in forgiveness, and thereby heal from our own shame and regrets. Love makes us capable of compassion for others, minding our own business, and fighting injustice.
Having everything go right is not an indication that you are fulfilling your purpose. In fact, making choices to love, more often than not slows us down and adds extra work to our already full plates. It seems like love can keep us from being productive in our quest for perfectly fulfilling our purpose in our careers or dreams. Jesus would argue there is no higher purpose than taking the time to love- and no one ever needs love when it is convenient. You take the first step in fulfilling the Great Commission of making disciples of all people when you tip your waiter, listen to a crying child, respect the feelings of others, and quietly pray for those who hurt you. After all, Paul said it best: If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing (I Cor. 13:2)..
Where are the hardest places for you to show love to others?
Are you the last person you show love to? Do you need to extend yourself some latitude in this area?
What current issues do you have in your life that might be resolved by loving someone?
Goal Setting & Sharing
Think of people you know that need love demonstrated in their lives, and how you might do that:
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another (John 13:35).
Podcast Re-launch Tuesday!
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