07 Aug Are You ALL IN?
Why, hello people I love.
Ya’ll. Crazy thing. Last week I wrote about blog about sex and marriage based on some of the response I’ve seen about the book and movie “Fifty Shades of Grey” (If you haven’t read it, you can here). A lot of people read it. Some people loved it. Some people liked it. Some people wanted to give me the world’s worst wedgie (say that 3 times fast). It was kinda like the Doritos kid on the Super Bowl commercial a couple of years ago. “Don’t talk about my momma! Don’t talk about my 50 Shades of Grey!”
In all seriousness, I get it. No one wants anyone to disagree with something they say, do, or like. It’s annoying. I understand.
Many people responded to me afterwards. I tried replying back as much as I could, but it got to a point where I couldn’t really keep up. Hopefully, if I didn’t get to respond to you, today’s blog will work as a response for you. Either way, if you read that blog last week or didn’t, I have something really, very important for you today.
First, here’s this. I initially wrote about the problems I see in 50 Shades due to the incredible response to the trailer of the movie that came out in the last couple of weeks. On every social media site I was on, my news feed was covered with that trailer from women sharing it. In almost every share, there was a comment talking about how hot, or sexy the guy playing Christian Grey was and how they couldn’t wait to see him in action on the screen. It was a lot like the reaction some women had about Robert Pattington (Twilight) or Channing Tatum (Magic Mike). A lot of these ladies were married. This made me sad. One- because our culture is so overly saturated with sex. Two- because I believe with all my heart, if people (women and men) were as compassionate about their marriages as they are with these sort of things, they wouldn’t fall apart as easily as they do. We aren’t guarding our hearts like we need to.
Now before you go, “Haley, that’s judgmental. And God don’t like that mess,” there is one thing I have to clear up. There seems to be a stigma about the word “judging”. Honestly, as Christians we’ve probably made that stigma ourselves because we have a habit of reacting to things we disagree with in two ways. Either we’re silent or we’re hateful/condemning/ “judging”. Not all of us, but a lot of us. Here is the deal. There is a difference in “judging”, being hateful, acting like we’re better and then speaking out of concern, love, and honesty because we want the best for people. My words have nothing to do with legalism, or judgement, or condemnation. Frankly, I can’t be better than anyone. Just because I’m a Christian doesn’t mean I’m perfect and have it all together, but rather that I recognize how jacked up I am and that I need a perfect Savior’s grace. I’m as broken as the next person. And I’m not immune to sin. That said, I can recognize something and make someone aware of it out of love and concern. Just like if you see me slacking off at work and see that I’m potentially going to get written up, you can respond to me in different ways. You can say, “Haley, you’re an idiot. You’ll never amount to anything.” You can say nothing at all. Or you can say,” Haley, get it together, my friend. I love you and I don’t want you to lose your job.” I’d rather not be called an idiot. I’d also rather someone speak up in my life and not just sit and watch the show. I believe that a lot of the brokenness we see in the church and in the world is due to an incredible lack of accountability. We need to speak up. We need to be honest. We need to get real. But we need to do it in LOVE while reminding ourselves that we are not immune to sin.
So, why is the “protecting our heart thing” so important anyway? What is the big dang deal, Haley? This is the big dang deal. God loves you so much that it’s ridiculous. His love for you is so big and so intense. Just like a new daddy loves his brand new baby girl or baby boy and would walk through fire for them, God is head over heals in love with you like that, but multiply that by infinity. He is all in for you, and He’s proven that by sending Jesus to die in place of us so that we may live in His freedom. He’s proven that by the air you’re breathing as you read this. Regardless of where you come from or anything you’ve done, God loves you.
I’m gonna shoot straight with you. I don’t come from a perfect background. My mom was 18 and single when she had me. She and my grandparents raised me and loved me and were actually really awesome, but they were imperfect people and made mistakes just like any other parents. I grew up in a pretty legalistic church. For a lot of my life, I followed God’s “rules” because I was scared of Him. I thought if I broke one of them, God would strike my butt with lighting and send me to hell. I was trying to work my way to heaven and trying to work my way into getting Him to like me. Later on I found out about this thing called “grace”. I learned what God really thought of me. That changed the whole game for me. I learned that these “rules” God had set, weren’t necessarily rules, but guidelines for my life that He made out of love for me. God wanted and wants me to be the best version of myself that I can be. God loves you and wants you to be the best version of yourself you can be.
So here’s the question. Knowing this truth- that God loves us, wants the best for us, and is ALL IN for us- are we ALL IN for Him? Are we All IN for Him in what we watch, what we read, what we listen to, what we say, how we speak to people, how we live our lives behind closed doors, etc.? Those things DO matter. Is He our number one? Do we love Him enough to put down the things that we might want to do but don’t necessarily need to do? Do we want to reach the full potential He has for us, or do we want to Bon Jovi this junk and say “It’s MY life,” and do our own thing? This is the truth. God is too good for us to love Him with anything less than our best. And you know what, you’re too awesome yourself to be anything but your best. You are the only you God created and He created you fearful and wonderfully. Why cheat Him? Why cheat yourself? I’m not saying be perfect, because we can’t. But we can give ourselves a self check and determine what spots in our lives are keeping us from loving Him and living at our best.
I am not perfect. I don’t have a perfect marriage or a perfect husband. But I am loved by an incredible God. And He blessed me with an incredible man. I’m going to make mistakes in both my relationships with my husband and God. But they love me too much and I love them too much to say that where I am in my life is good enough. God loves me just the way that I am, yes. But He doesn’t want me to be stay this way. He wants me to grow. Because He loves me. Just like a good dad wants for his kids. He wants you to grow. Because He loves you.
So here’s my encouragement and challenge to you. I encourage and challenge you to evaluate where you are with God and how you can love Him and others better. You are here for a purpose. You have one life. Are you going to live it ALL IN?
Till next time,