“Take your everyday, ordinary life … and place it before God as an offering.”
The author of Hebrews laid down a big challenge for us: “ … let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24). Eugene Peterson in The Message version translated it as, “Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out.”
What a great challenge for us in today’s world. It dares us to engage our God-given capacities for imagining and inventing. And we like doing that. But, it also dares us to direct these capacities toward good purposes, toward God’s purposes. In other words, which pill do you choose to take, to swallow, to become part of you?
Too often we use our imaginations to envision prosperous futures for ourselves, futures of comfort and materialism and separation … or … we use them to envision worrisome futures, futures where our worst fears come to pass. And too often, we use our inventiveness to build our own prosperity … or … to build barricades around our lives to protect ourselves from our fears. I’ve often done the latter of those two.
What if we stopped doing that? What if, in faith, we consistently refocused these imaginative and inventive and creative capacities? What if we put them toward the task of keeping ourselves, and keeping those around us fueled and encouraged? What if we dedicated a few moments―every week, every month―to look at ourselves, our families, our friends and our communities, and allowed ourselves to dream and create? We wouldn’t be alone. The Holy Spirit would be right there, in those moments, guiding us, inspiring us. He loves it when we dream.
So how do we change how we think and how we act? It’s hard; it takes practice. And we need help. Take a few minutes right now to pray and listen for the Holy Spirit. Be still. Consider which pill you’ve been taking in and which one you should be. Ask yourself how you can encourage “love and good deeds” in yourself, your family, among your friends, at your work.
And when in doubt always choose the good pill … the red one!
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