As I wrote about in the first part of this series, my prayer has been and continues to be that God would break my heart for what breaks His. I am learning more each day about what that prayer truly means. God has been opening my eyes to what His heart consists of. Each part of the series talks about the different things that this prayer means in my life.
Venturing Outside of our Holy Circles
Our “Holy Circles” is my term for those people we must have in our lives to encourage and challenge us spiritually. It is so important that we have this circle in our lives. In the bible, the church as a whole is brought up several times. We are not asked to walk this journey on our own, but with a group of supporters.
Unfortunately, we are born into this world of sin as sinners. From the first day of life, until the last, we are tempted to sin. You can see it in the little girl who sneaks two cookies even though mom said she could only take one. You see it in the rebellious teenager who lies to his parents about where he had been. You see it in the grown man who is having an affair with a co-worker. It is everywhere and we are constantly being tempted to do something that goes against everything we are and everything that God calls us to be.
As many of you know, Jesus spent much of his time on earth loving on sinners. He was constantly stepping outside of his holy circle – which included the disciples – and instead eating, laughing, and learning with the outcasts. Why is this so hard for us to grasp!? We talk about it in depth. We have taboo phrases. It is touched on in several church sermons. It is the center of most ministries. Yet, somehow we believe that we are the exception to the rule.
Somehow we get so caught up in our own holy circles that we forget to reach outside of it and touch the lives of others. Yes, it is important that we have a holy circle to encourage us and lift us up. Yes, I am guilty of not loving as Christ calls me to. Yes, everybody we come in contact with has an impact on our lives, positive or negative. Yes, it is also important to minister outside of our holy circles.
So, how is is that we believe we are the exception to the rule? I really don’t have an answer to that questions. As a believer, you, me, we are called to love. It doesn’t mean that we only love those that love us or those that are on the right path. It means that we love all. Every single person to cross our path, we are called to love. The waitress who messed up your bill. The person in your life that is so obviously choosing to sin. The driver who cut you off on the highway. The once friend, now enemy. The homeless man begging for money, food, anything. It does not matter the circumstances of the situation, only the condition of our hearts.
It is not always easy, in fact most of the time it is extremely difficult. It’s challenging to let go of a judgement, or to forgive someone so deeply and intently. But, as difficult as it is, we get to share a little bit of Christ with that person. We give them a sliver of the peace and joy of Christ that we hold to so dearly.
I’m writing about this not because I’m perfect, but because this is something I struggle with. Loving others is such a huge challenge for many believers. It’s a daily decisions to put your own selfish heart aside and choose God’s heart. It’s a daily decision to love others unconditionally rather than picking and choosing who to love.
I continue to work on this everyday. God continues to reveal a deeper meaning behind all of this. I hope that this challenges your heart just as it challenges mine. We are called to LOVE.
Have a blessed day,