Truth be told, I've been under a lot of stress lately; two of my three children are off to college and mostly on their own now, leaving me outnumbered in the female camp at home. And let's just say the barrage of fully-expressed male humor, I do not appreciate-ha! We've also been dealing with a family member's serious illness, I've decided to go back to school, so to speak, in an international coaching certification program, and recently I've caused major problems for several people I care very much about. I'm feeling as if I need to walk around wearing an "Out of Order" sign. UGH!
For a few months now, most mornings I wake up each day not in anticipation of the great new day ahead, which is how I've rolled most of my life, but rather with an overwhelmed, stressed feeling. Clearly, this is not good and I want it to change. But how? Well, for me the first place to turn in good, bad, and everything in between times is God's word.
So Jesus, in all his boldness with me, directed me straight to His commandments to: '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 12:30-31
In my opinion, Jesus is very good at getting to the point when one of his peeps needs to hear a truth from Him and I like how it was the Gospel of Mark that I decided to read because in verse 29 the above truths are queued up strongly with, 'The most important one is this...'
Know this; of all God's commandments, loving Him is the most important. Hmmmm... Yes, I love God. But after more thought I realized something: At the root of all commandments is an action. Look them over, not a single commandment instructs us to simply think about it or just believe it to be true. We must DO something with it, express it, show it. Or said another way, we must be fruitful. The scriptures are very clear here; it's not enough for me to just believe or think that I love God with my whole heart, soul, mind, strength and that I will love my neighbor as myself, I have to live it with my words and actions.
Then it clicked-I've been doing less than my best job at loving my neighbor as myself because I've been spending too much time focusing on my own frustration, stress, sadness, and overall 'half-empty' way of being. Thereby making me love a few of my "neighbors" in an anything but a loving way. Sigh...many of my 'fruits' lately have not been so yummy.
Ok, now we're getting somewhere. If I allow my focus to come away from the greatest commandment of loving my God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, I will not be at peace and that will make plenty of room for some of the above mentioned problems and will leave no room for loving my neighbor the right way.
My new prayer for this day and everyday to come will be to please help me refocus my actions towards loving God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. And, since love is an action I must show my love for Him. When I do, the Bible teaches that I will receive His blessings of joy and peace. This is cool because receipt of joy and peace leaves absolutely no room for stress, sadness, frustration, and the like. Yessssss! Now, I'll be able to love my neighbor as I love myself because myself will be back in working order. Thanks Jesus!
If this post touched you, I'd love to hear your comments and invite you to share this with others.
Kirsten Berger Coaching