Monday, March 30, 2009

one thing...

So a while back, I heard a speaker ask the crowd, "If you could only hear one thing from those you love...your family...your closest friends...etc...just one thing - what would you want to hear?"

The obvious answer he was leading towards, and the answer most everyone gave was, "I love you." Sappy enough to be a great illustration. But something about it struck me as being a sign of a larger problem.

We want people to love US.

It makes sense. We all wanna be loved. I think DC Talk sang it. That makes it true. But how often do we put the importance of those we love loving us, above those we love loving God/Jesus? If I had to narrow all that my wife and children were allowed to say into one phrase, I'd rather they tell me they're in love with God (whatever that means) than they love me.

Not to say I don't want them to love me. Totally do. They'd better. :) But I hope and pray that the life I live communicates how important I believe how they live in relation to God is, compared to how they live in relation to me. I don't think I do a very good job sometimes. Thankfully I'm still relatively new to this marriage and parenting thing, and can keep working towards my communication skills - both in word and deed.

This sometimes innocently skewed mindset creeps its way into other areas of life too. Our friends, our co-workers, and for those of us in ministry especially - those we serve. We look for approval (love). We look for meaning (love). We look for significance (love). We look for purpose in relationship with other people (love). We do a crazy amount of things sometimes, all under the guise of acquiring a sense of being needed, or "loved" by others.

I hope that others love me. I'm pretty sure there are many out there who do. I've felt it throughout my life, and in many ways it has helped me through life's storms. In the same way, there are a ridiculous amount of people that I love. But in the same way that my love for God trumps each of those, I hope and pray that each person my life bumps into - can see my genuine desire for them to be involved in the Love of God more than me or my ministry/life or anything else.

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