Saturday, June 12, 2010

learning doesn't end with graduation!

Last night Lydia (my soon-to-be Wooster roommate and partner in InterVarsity ministry) and I watched An Education. It was heavy and full of deceit, yet redeeming at the end. I've also been receiving an education...though, I am thankful to God, nothing like the one Jenny received in the movie last night.

One lesson I'm learning, in-process:

- The Asbury community is a rare thing, even among other Christian communities. Unconditional acceptance and love for people just because they're brothers and sisters in Christ is not a given.
- It's not as easy to show unconditional acceptance and love to others when you're not surrounded by it yourself. Suddenly I begin to see that maybe loving others came so easily to me because I was being loved so much by others. It's not so easy to give out love when you're not receiving it.
- The wise words of my friend Ciara: "Even if you aren't getting that love and encouragement from those around you, don't be afraid to give it anyway. It's worth it."
- The wise words of Paul the apostle: "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you" (Ephesians 4:29-32). Just let it sink in for a moment that hurting others grieves God's Spirit...even if it's something so "small" as words that are not wholesome.
- Back to Ciara: "I think we forget how much power we have over other human beings. It really makes you think about how you treat people yourself. I never want to make anyone feel the way some people have made me feel."

It's so easy to stick with people who make you feel good and love them because they love you. It's even easy to love those who don't love you, as long as you have people who are pouring love into you. But when you aren't being loved by those around you, and those who do love you are very, very far you still love? And how?

- The wise words of Thomas the Domino's Guy: "The Lord is your strength, if you allow yourselves to be vessels."
- Back to Paul: "Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work" (2 Timothy 2:21).
- And to quote Tim Hughes: "Fill us up and send us out."


Sarah said...

Very interesting post. I can't help but relate it to my future abroad. What if I'm not feeling loved back? Will I still be able to love? From all the stories I've heard from Peace Corps Volunteers, there's one common thread--the people you meet are amazing. They talk about how welcoming the various African communities are, and how quickly they invite you to be part of their lives. So I don't have too much fear about it, but still--what if? Your post is very thought-provoking.

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