Are you having a hard time saying goodbye to 2016? I really wasn’t having trouble saying goodbye until this morning. Funny how one small comment makes you question everything that you think you have all tamped into place and that you’re working on. Funny how old habits of negative thinking are really hard to shake.
I have a confession to make. I’m not a positive person by nature or by habit. I do not look on the bright side of life. The glass of water is neither half empty nor half full. It is merely a glass of water. So why am I writing a blog that promotes positive thinking and being the light? Late at night when life is beating me down I think it’s because God has a sick sense of humor or he’s made a horrible mistake. Perhaps I’ve made a horrible mistake in what I thought I heard God say. Y’all see how I could go on for a good long while doing this?
I’m not a perfect person, and I don’t know anybody who is. I make tons of mistakes, and I get beaten down by life. I have a hard day, and I use words as weapons because that’s what I’ve always done. Most days I don’t even think that I’m a good person much less a perfect person and that I have nothing of value to share because I fail and fail often at being a decent human being. I’m impatient and always in a hurry, and I hate having to wait for someone to catch up.
So why on earth would God pick someone like me to write a blog about spreading love? I don’t really know. Jesus said he uses us in our weaknesses to reach and teach others and that I believe and rely on. The thing is that I work every day to be a more positive person. I have to work to find a compliment to give you or to say something that is unexpectedly nice. But I do work at it. Because it does not come naturally to me, I am constantly working at, and I never take spreading love for granted. I have friends who it does seem to come naturally for them, and I’m jealous. I wish it were easier for me, but I know myself, and I would simply fall into complacency and not try to spread love anywhere if it were easy. When I get to the point where I’m convinced that God has made a mistake, I have to take the time to sit and center myself. The enemy throws a lot of fear our way, and the fear keeps us from achieving our purpose. Fear paralyzes us and casts a long shadow of doubt over everything. Fear sucks the light out of our lives, and it makes us a prisoner in our own minds.
So join me in 2017 at working at making a positive difference, and, when we think we might be so egotistical as to be crazy for attempting to do things that are so far out of our comfort zone, let’s reach out an encouraging hand to each other. We are unique, and we are beautiful. God has a plan for each and every one of us, and he knows better than we do. He doesn’t share our fears, and He doesn’t demand perfection. He does demand that we be not afraid though, that we step out joyfully in faith. Faith trumps fear, but it takes work. So while we’re working on the 2017 Love Challenge, start with loving yourself and then work your way out from there. Jesus tells us to look at everyone through God’s eyes and love them like He loves them. You know what? That means you need to look at yourself the same way, and so do I. We will inevitably get things wrong in life. I can say that I know I’m broken, but there’s a difference between saying it and really, really knowing it and realizing that it doesn’t matter. It has never mattered to Jesus, and he has always seen us just as we are, and he has always loved us anyway. When we learn how to love ourselves this way, we’ll be able to love other people that way, too. Sometimes I think Jesus uses the most broken people the most. That true beauty that shines in the midst of true brokenness is the most lasting and touching beauty of all.
Love you guys, and happy new year!