Monday, February 4, 2013

Is It Worth It?

"You can make a point and lose the opportunity to make a difference." A pastor made that statement recently in an interview and it has stuck with me. I can't remember his name, but his thought was provoking. The conversation that he was having was all about making a choice with our words. Is it worth it? To him, the goal is to use his words to influence others toward a relationship with Christ. His point, pardon the pun, was that he may not say what he thinks about a subject to someone, if it alienates his ability to make a difference for Christ in their life. He values the opportunity to make a difference for Christ over the opportunity to make a point.
We see this all the time on social media sites. There's a constant flow of tweets or facebook posts of people trying to get their "point" across. Say it first, say it with a little zing and sit back to enjoy the reactions. For instance, the Super Bowl was played in New Orleans last night. My social media sites were overflowing with "points" being made. Admittedly, some of them cracked me up. Others were rude and obnoxious. Some of them were about commercials, and some of them were about specific people or groups. Unfortunately, these thoughts can go out unfiltered. I'm guilty of it myself. Too often I forget that sending a tweet or facebook update is having a conversation. It's saying something to someone. It has an impact on our relationship. I thought about this a little closer to home. My children hear me on the phone or in conversations with folks all the time. If they are hearing me throwing my points out like fiery darts, am I losing the opportunity to make a difference in their lives? Is it worth it? I think not.
In the interview, this pastor was really getting beat up. The perception was that he wasn't standing up for the truth of God's Word about social issues. I may or may not have jumped on the band wagon! :) However, after listening to him I realized that he's just putting into practice what Jesus said was most important.
Matthew 22:37-40 says, "Jesus replied, You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.
A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself. The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments."

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


My One Word for 2013 is finish.  I’ve been thinking about and praying about what my word would be for several weeks now.  Finish. Ecclesiastes 7:8 says, “Finishing is better than starting.”   If you know me at all, you know that I’m a sprinter and not a marathoner.  I need quick, easy to accomplish tasks.  I like fast, tangible results.  Reality is not that easy though.  Much of what I do takes time, energy and a long perspective.  My vision has to go beyond the immediate. 

So instead of mounting up more and more tasks and being overwhelmed by it all, I’m focusing on finishing.  Here are some hopes for this word being at the forefront of my thoughts for 2013:

v  Finish - all the books I’ve started and haven’t quite turned the last page on.  Two down already!

v  Finish- conversations with my family and friends.  Too often we’re cut-off and never get back to it.  Sadly it’s not usually something more important that interrupts, just the next thing.  So we move on and never finish what we started.

v  Finish-cleaning out the closets; getting rid of the excess.  (Probably has something to do with finishing the book 7-An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen HatmakerJ)

v  Finish- reading the Bible through.  I’ve started this numerous times and never quite get it done.  This definitely takes a marathoner mentality.  I read and study all the time, just never cover to cover.  This year I’m using my new favorite Bible, the NLT Life Application Study Bible.  I’m already enjoying the process of just turning the pages, reading the story. 

I’ve chosen a “one word” for the last few years.  I have no doubt that as the year progresses God will intervene and change my perspective on “finish”.  He always does.

Last year my one word was present-I wanted to intentionally be present in each moment that God gave me.  One huge paradigm shift for me was realizing that I don’t always recognize that God is present – always.   For instance, I would pray, “God be with me.”   Sounds fine, but the reality is God is with me. He’s present everywhere, all the time.  My prayer now is God help me to see You where I am, help me not to miss You or Your presence.  It’s a huge change that helps me to be more confident and peaceful, no matter what I’m dealing with.  God is present.

What’s your One Word for 2013?