I was talking with one of my closest friends today. The type of friend who can finish your sentence for you, who always seems to be in a similar place in life and in wrestle with Jesus. The running mate, type of friend. And she was sharing with me a conversation she had with Jesus last night. And, I’ve got to say… what Jesus shared with her, wrecked my heart a little bit. I hope it’s okay that I share with you.
What He said was this;
“You are not responsible for how people respond. If you decide that you want to be responsible for how they respond, you are bearing a burden much greater than you were intended to carry.”
And when I decided to have a conversation about what He told her, what He told me, was this;
“When you decide you will mold and shape your actions and decisions in light of how others’ may respond, even when you want a positive, Christ like response, you are dethroning Me and deciding you can do the job of the Holy Spirit.”
*gulp* Why does He always have to be so much rougher with me than her? Gosh.
Here’s the thing. As believers, I believe many of us (by many of us, I am leading the pack here guys) decide that we will be looking at the exterior manifestation of His work in our lives and in the lives around others. And we get busy doing, and looking and converting and talking. And somewhere along the way, we feel like if people aren’t gushing and repenting or having extreme heart transformation at the way we are living our life, we are doing something wrong. So we start to bend, and to lose the essence of who God made us as individuals in Him for the sake of peace (because, we’re called to be peacemakers) or for the sake of a false humility that couldn’t possibly understand the Kingdom of God.
This isn’t a case against a life given up guys. I am all about giving up my life for the sake of others and the Gospel. I bear the title and the identity of wife, mom, minister. By correct definition, those are all titles that demand I lose my life. But here’s the thing… I am called to love God first and then my neighbor. My motivation must always be a love for God. When I give up my life for the sake of my husband, children, second set of children (hi babies!) it is understanding that by doing so, I am becoming that which Jesus desires to mold me into. Christ is my motivation. It’s not about losing who I am to please a man because I am called to serve him or about becoming a soccer mom, because that’s what good mothers do. It is about seeking out a Father in Heaven, who gives me glorious identity. When I do that, giving up my life is a joy because it’s part of who He is molding me to be.
I am learning that when I do it from that place. When I just allow God to mold and create me and blossom me into the individual He has created me to be, I fulfill the commandment to love well. How others respond… well, that’s just not my burden to bear.