honest beauty

I can’t stop thinking about this passage. The heading says, Jesus causes division. Luke 12:49-59

It feels contrary or counterintuitive to who I’ve always thought Jesus was supposed to be, and I’ve never really understood it. But today, I just kept thinking about it.

Jesus didn’t come to make everyone fine.

He didn’t come to force anyone to do anything.

He didn’t come to make all things good right now.

Jesus came for one reason,

because of the Father’s love for us.

He came to make a way for ANYONE to have life, forever, without forcing it on them.

And so, we live on this planet in this present time with division.
People disagree.
People treat each other badly.
People do horrendous things.

And…

People agree.
People treat each other well.
People do beautiful things.

We have a choice.

I believe… No, I know, that the peace in my heart which guides me to choose good things and convicts me when I don’t, is
The Holy Spirit in me.
The Holy Spirit, part of God, who became a part of me the very moment I decided, way back in high school, to believe that
Jesus came to this earth
lived a sinless life
died on the cross
was buried
rose on the third day
in order that I might have eternal life.

Still, I spent many, many years not living out that love in my life.
Too many years.
Too many years of treating others badly and not settling matters with those around me.

I am ever so grateful that God brought people into my life, at just the right time, to show me a different way.

I am ever so grateful that I have learned how to have a life and have it abundantly. John 10:10.

Abundantly honest.
Abundantly vulnerable.
Abundantly alive!
Even though people might not like the real me or agree with me.

The thing is, it makes some people really, really nervous.
And that’s okay.

Yesterday I had a phone date with a friend from 20 years ago that I have not talked to in many years. We have been in touch from time to time but very little. When I decided to share my story with her, to be honest and vulnerable with her, I knew she might go, “Whoa there… That’s too much honesty for me.” And cut the conversation short.

Turns out we talked for around 2 1/2 hours.
We were both honest and vulnerable with our stories.
We encouraged each other.
It was beautiful.
That beauty would never have been realized without both of us risking the possibility of rejection…
Of division.

Jesus didn’t come to make everyone fine. He didn’t come to wipe out all division and bring peace to this world full of sin.  But he did make a way for each of us as individuals to find peace within ourselves until the day we get to leave this earth and spend the rest of eternity with Him. In the meantime, he gave us each other.  We get to be vulnerable and take risks with each other and grow together. We get to help each other, encourage each other, love each other through difficult times.

Grateful for brave.

Grateful for vulnerability.

Grateful for Jesus.

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