I want to apologise. I’ve been very ranty, haven’t I? I have the habit of talking in a way that is almost accusatory; sort of suggesting that you’ve got it wrong when most likely you’re doing it better than I am. I can tell you why too. I’ve never had to temper my messages with love, there’ve always been others around me to do so. For instance, at my old church I used to preach once every two months and as the pastor was giving pastoral sermons I knew I didn’t have to. I could be the one that gave the type of hard hitting, challenging message that he (due to having to pastor) could not.
Another reason for it, if I’m getting really honest, is that I am working all this out as I write it. In a way, I’m talking to myself, challenging myself to do the things I don’t. I sometimes worry I say all this stuff and people are just thinking: “yeah, we do that, dude, you mean you don’t?”. Of course I hope that some of what I am saying is challenging you too.
What I am saying (other than sorry) is that this is my discipleship, I focus on what we (might be) doing wrong and forget to be loving. Tear down and forget to build up. If I am going to be a leader, and by releasing this podcast and writing these missives I guess I am putting myself in that position (like it or not), then I have to show people the right way, not just the wrong one. And, hell, that goes for whether I am a leader or not, it’s what we should all be doing, isn’t it?
We’re called to love and I hate writing that sentence. I hate it because the word ‘love’ has been coloured by ideas of romantic love, that it’s something soppy. Not at all. Jesus calls us to a selfish love. He tells us to love others as we love ourselves and that isn’t a soppy, romantic love, but a fierce, loyal, passionate, determined love. Think of the urge to survive, self-preservation, the fight we put up in situations of danger. This is subconsciously how we love ourselves and that’s the kind of love we’re supposed to show to others.
So, yes, I am sorry if I’ve been ranty. My purpose for doing this podcast and these missives is to try and build you up, not tear you down. I wonder, and worry, that maybe how we do church, our traditions, are holding us back from a better understanding, and therefore better relationship, with God and that goes for me more than anyone.
Jesus loves you and He has a plan for your life. Whatever you’re going through in life right this minute, know that because, sometimes, that’s all we need to know.
(This is all me though I reckon BT and Beanz would agree with the final sentiment)