I Want You to Like Me So Much, I’m Going to Punch You

John 4:16-18
Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidenceon the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus.  There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.

I work with English Language Learners; specifically 2nd to 5th grade children.  I’ve seen many amazing feats of communication that bridge the gaps between the 11 or so languages spoken at our afterschool program, but none so misunderstood as The Sucker Punch. The Sucker Punch generally happens when children are playing happily, and one decides to leave, or play with someone else. When a child needs to convey the depth of their desire remain in the blissful state of acceptance and connection with someone who has just abandoned them, and no other meaningful form of communication is available, he may slug the object of his affection (Sidenote: I’m not sexist. I say “he” because boys tend to hit. Girls tend to be much nastier. I know because I am one.).

As adults, we like to think we are evolved past this sudden urge to inflict pain on those we care about, when we feel betrayed. We believe we have the tools to communicate our needs when we are faced with insecurity and doubt. Unfortunately, the tools in our arsenal tend to be silent treatments, ultimatums, passive-aggressive post-it notes, and questionable social media posts. No, we are not much evolved above emotionally sucker punching someone when they don’t read our minds, sense our needs, and act accordingly… and immediately. It’s proof of their love, right? And if they can’t- or won’t- provide this tangible evidence of our value to them, well, then… we have no evidence of our value.  And if this is where our value lies, now we have to question our identity. It seems our identity is now Unloved. Unworthy. Unhappy… with a powerful urge to load the dishwasher all wrong, tell our mommas on you, and run the car out of gas right as we are coasting home on fumes (Actually just kidding about the gas… I swear I can’t help it.  There really should be some audible warning at ¼ tank).

The key to keeping our crazy under wraps is to have a handle on our true identity. As those who are loved and desired by a magnificent father whose worth is beyond definition, we are royalty whose value is summed up in the life and death of Jesus Christ. And also… we are fools. We will love foolishly, act foolishly, and make all kinds of ridiculous mistakes; but not a one of them will separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. And so, as well-loved, valuable, precious children of a living God, let us forgive each other’s foolishness, and recognize that our value is in our relationship to God before anything else. From this perspective, we can love freely, and without finding fault. That type of love is liberating, generous, fearless, and shame-proof.

Unless the toilet paper roll is empty. Then I HAVE to post something on Facebook. 




GATHER HER || 04.13.17


Topic: Purpose




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03.09.17 || 6:30 - 8:30 pm || FREE for all Women!

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