Lead with Love

I don’t remember mom and dad talking to us about a lot of serious things. Maybe they talked to my siblings – but I just don’t remember them talking to me about things like racism, worldview, the Bible, or even the birds and the bees. Maybe it was just a different time. Maybe they didn’t know how. Maybe they really did talk about these things and I just didn’t listen… Regardless, I don’t remember any deep conversations.

I can’t say that I have had a lot of those deep conversations with my older kids, either. A few, here and there, but looking back, I sure wish there were more. But Gavin? It seems he and his buddies do a lot of talking about social issues – race, LGBTQ+, BLM, and the like. I am kind of shocked about their topics of discussion. When I was in 7th grade, I was talking about girl drama and cute boys {which were often the source of girl drama}. I am so very thankful Gavin shares these conversations and we can speak life into his ever-growing heart and brain.

Many of our conversations happen in the car, on the way to school – which gives me exactly seven minutes. Anyone who knows me, also knows it is difficult for me to come up with words under pressure. I am a thinker. Seven minutes is not a lot of time when he springs something on me. I typically come up with something {often cliché or just plain lame}, but then stew on it all day and revisit the topic at an appropriate time.

The other morning, on the way to school, we had one of our conversations. As he was talking, I couldn’t help but be a little sad he and his buddies don’t have a Biblical worldview…yet. They have views they can back up with a verse or two found in the Bible, but they don’t have solid views that are consistent with the message of humanity, sin, and redemption. I am trying to help him form that. I am trying to steer him to dig into the Bible to uncover a whole gamut of truth. I am trying to get through to him how God desires us to act justly and love mercy, but there are a lot of unbiblical explanations fighting against me of what justice and mercy should look like.  

As always, I needed time to process the things he was expressing, but I did manage to tell him this one thing I think we all need to grasp. Many people see the world in terms of power and miss the redemption potential of sinners.  Everyone is worthy of redemption. Everyone.

Until we see people – all people – through the lens of Jesus, our world is going to suffer. Until we learn to treat people the way Jesus would treat them, our world is going to suffer. I know that sounds cliché – but I really wanted to make it simple enough for Gavin to understand. When we disrespect others, treat people poorly, exert power, or hurt others in any way – we are doing the same to Jesus. We are made in the image of God. That isn’t a cute saying or a great song – that is truth. When we look at others, we need to see them the way Jesus sees them – as a perfectly created child; unique; chosen; loved; valued.

When we look at another human, we need to see them as created by our Creator. We need to step back and recognize that our personal convictions are just that – ours. There is a freedom in the world to have morals and values that look different from one person to the next. I, for one, do not want to lose that freedom. When we think about the person who frustrates us for their different stance on the world, we need to seek to understand that stance. We don’t have to agree with it, but when we understand where another person is coming from, we are better equipped to engage with them. Engage is a key word here. We don’t want to fight. We don’t want to shove a bible verse down their throat. And we don’t want to insist we are right and they are wrong. That is not engagement. That is stubborn pride. Engagement opens the door to unhindered, intelligent conversation. Engagement takes courage to scale the walls and patiently and lovingly chip away at the bricks – not to change minds or morals, convict hearts, or challenge beliefs – but to love someone enough to make space for God to move.

It is only when God moves that we see redemption. And isn’t that the bigger story, anyway? Our world is made up of sinners. We should never be so high up on that almighty horse judging someone else while forgetting the bible tells us we all fall short of the glory of God. We should take great care in remembering that the sin of humanity is the very reason God sent Jesus to redeem us while we were in the muck and the mire. Jesus didn’t yell at us. He didn’t hold up protest signs. He didn’t turn his back on us when we were at our lowest low. He didn’t tell us we were horrible humans for thinking or believing what we thought or believed. Why on earth would we think this was acceptable for us to do to others? Jesus simply loved us until we were ready to be loved and that is what he commands us to do going forward.

Because I love the simplicity of Bob Goff’s message, let me share one more quote with you. In his book Everybody Always, he wrote:

“People will figure out what we really believe by what we actually do. Everybody has a plan, but God’s looking for people who know their purpose.”

Love is hard – but it is necessary if we are ever going to really change the world the way Jesus did. We are not here to prove a point. We are here to share Good News. If we come out with our guns a’blazing, we will surely lose the battle. But if we lead with love, God will surely win.

When Gavin got out of the car, I watched him walk into school and I prayed that maybe, just maybe, the few words I was able to craft in my seven-minute window would sink into his heart and manifest in his thoughts and words and actions. I’m praying the same for all of us. Will you join me? I truly believe we can change the world with a little love. We had a great example. It is time we followed his lead.

~ D 😊

This entry was posted in care, children, encouragement, God, grace, life & love, Memories, motherhood, observations, parenting, prayer, relationships, things that matter, thinking, wisdom, words for the week. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Lead with Love

  1. TamrahJo says:

    Love is hard – engaging with those who think so differently from one is hard – being Jesus was hard – being a religion that has tenets within it that agree with Jesus’ teachings, in some forums, is hard – – Saying it’s all ‘hard’ to be the loving person, upsets the ‘positive thinking crew’ who thinks if you just ‘adopt’ some pithy quote – from the Bible or Celebrity or Guru – or another religion – – – is being negative because you questioned/or viewed something from the ‘it’s hard’ status – – On the other hand, for me? Once I adopted the ‘anything worth having is worth working for and hard’ portion of the quest? It all, still, rather tweaks my inner critic, devil’s advocate, and it’s not easy to live with how on this mortal plane, but in the end? Children, neighbors, friends, family, bosses, colleagues etc., are GUARANTEED to ingest what you say and look to see what One DOES – and how those two things match up – not pretty, flashy or marketing 2 step plan most follow – but, to me? Human nature…Wonderful Post!

    Like

  2. Pingback: Grace | The Light

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