Posts Tagged ‘love’

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There’s something about being in my forties and heading toward fifty that got me thinking about my life… what have I accomplished? …will I leave a worthy legacy?  …what will I do next?

Mid-life crisis?  Maybe.  Natural progression of thought of a man growing older? Possible. Or is it something more dark and sinister? Could it be the roots of years of trying to measure up… years of being graded…. a lifetime of living for the accolades of others… worrying about making my mark… ambition fueled by the need to be recognized.

And, many would say, “What’s wrong with any of that? Isn’t it just being human?”  Well… maybe that’s true. However, whether it’s natural or not, I’m done with it. Finished with chasing false finish lines, and living up to my own self-induced standards of defining success; I’m through with collecting proverbial trophies in some lame attempt to justify my existence and earn my next opportunity.

I know… that is the way of our modern world: build your Resume in order to move ahead… get a better job… make a better life… make your mark.

Unfortunately…. That’s not going to work for me anymore.

You see… I BURNED MY RESUME. Yep…that’s right. Not only did I burn it, I shredded it.  Yeah, I literally took copies of my RESUME and shredded and burned it.

You know why? Because I am FREE!

Oh yeah… that’s right!

I have checked out of the pursuit of selfish ambition that leads to nowhere! Because I have realized that I have been a hypocrite. Yep… that’s been me… the selfish, prideful hypocrite building a resume that does not matter.

“Have you lost your mind?” you may ask.

Well… Maybe. But I don’t care. Because I am happy and free. Free from what? Free from me.

I have realized that to many times we allow our past mistakes and failures to rule our lives and guide our steps. However, an even more dangerous dilemma is when we allow our past Successes to hold us back from the great adventure that beckons us each day. We’re to busy “polishing trophies” and talking about “the good old days.”

Success can make us just as afraid of failure as failure can, because we become paralyzed by the concern of whether we can measure up one more time.

You know what…Who cares?!

Does it really matter!?

NO… NO and again I say NO!

Success is temporary. Failure is seldom fatal.

So what do I think matters?

Life…. Living… embracing the moment we are in.  And… knowing who we are regardless of what we have accomplished. Like I’ve said, I’ve been a hypocrite.

Hypocrite: a person who’s action do not match their stated beliefs.

As a stated follower of Jesus Christ, I have said that all that truly matters is what God thinks of me; my self-worth and value are determined by who I am in Christ, not in what I do or what others think of me.

Hypocrite! Hypocrite! Hypocrite!

Well… I’m done being a hypocrite. I want to walk in what I have preached and stated: I am loved by God and He is who I live for. What other people think of me or my own self-induced list of requirements to be successful is not what defines me.

And… I am free!

Free to truly love people as they are, because I’m not trying to prove my worth to them.

Free to take risks, because I am not bound by my past… good or bad.

Free to laugh, free to cry, free to live, free to give.

Free to delve into new relationships even though I’ve been hurt before.

Free to Forgive.

Free at last… Free at last… Thank God Almighty, I’m free at last!

So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.

                                           John 8:36

Yeah… I burned my resume, and yeah I might be crazy. But I’m free… I’m happy… and best of all… I can love and… I can love again. I can forgive. I can stop looking at others through their resumes and just see people who God loves unconditionally, and I can do the same.

So… here I go… into a life without resumes. Measured only by the love of Christ and measuring others with the same.

It’s gonna be fun!

Wanna come along?

(Thank you to my friend who looked me in the eye and said, “Harlan, it’s time to shred your resume.” I am forever grateful.)

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Love…So, Who’s Afraid?

Posted: June 23, 2010 in Life
Tags: , , , ,

Perfect love casts out fear… 

It is amazing to me how one simple phrase can carry such power and challenge me so much. 

Perfect love cast out fear…

If you asked me if I am a person who loves…I would say, “Yes”.

If you asked me if I love people, I would answer, “Absolutely”.

Of course I love people.  Of course I want the best for others. Of course I want to forgive and grant people a second chance. Of course I want to show kindness. Of course I want to show love through my actions and my words.

Then…why does love so often escape me in the moments I need it most?

Why when I should offer forgiveness do I find myself wanting to judge?

Why when I should offer compassion do I find myself callous and cold?

Why when I should offer understanding do I find myself being critical?

Maybe it’s because, if I’m honest with myself, often I am afraid.

Afraid of being too vulnerable; afraid of being hurt; afraid of giving someone love when they don’t deserve it. Afraid…If I truly surrender all and love unconditionally that I will somehow lose some of who I am.

Then there are those words… “Perfect Love cast out all fear”.  So what is perfect love? 

This phrase comes from a passage of scripture in the Bible which reads…

15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 19 We love, because He first loved us. 20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also. 1 John 4:15-21 NASU

Maybe I struggle with showing love because in and of myself, love is not perfected.  Maybe perfect love can only exist when I surrender to the one who made love…the one who is love; the one who gave His life to prove love.

The more I understand God’s love for me the less fear I have in loving others.  He showed the way in giving His all for me…for you.  For this I love Him…and because of this…I am not afraid…and because I am not afraid…I can love.

Perfect love casts out all fear