Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Live Generously

5:45AM fairly sweaty and FUN workout completed!  Do y'all remember that craze from a few years ago Dance, Dance Revolution?  Well, my sister and I saved up some money and bought the Christian version: Dance Praise some years ago.  We did it some but she lives an hour away, so it wasn't used enough.  Then my friend JW who lives near me, used to come over and dance with me but life got busy so it was put back on shelf for years.  Now enter Jason.  I've been telling him about Dance Praise for years (as of Monday the 19th), but we just never got around to it.  So last night when I'm preparing for this mornings workout, I remember DP and pull it off the shelf!  It's a surprisingly good workout.  I mean, the bottoms of my feet hurt, my muscles were burning, we were sweating and our heart rate was up for at least 30 minutes.  Yay us! 

"October Baby" with CPH last night was really good.  You should run to your local theater when it comes out.  Be prepared, you will cry, but what an amazing story of adoption/abortion/forgiveness/letting go.  I doubt there was a dry eye in the theater.  It was created completely in AL by the Erwin brothers.  One of the central themes in the movie was forgiving someone of doing something that just seems unforgivable.  (I don't want to give anything away by telling you what was going on.  You'll have to find out for yourself.)

On the way home, I was listening to WDJC and the DJ did a quick preaching on Matthew 5:35-48.  I was only half listening until Jesus poked me, "Hey, are you listening?"  Me, "Kinda, why?"  Jesus, "Please pay attention, there's a key truth I want you to learn."

V42-44: "No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.  You're familiar with the old written law, 'Love your friend,' and its unwritten companion, 'Hate your enemy.' I'm challenging that. I'm telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer..."

Oooh, ouch, did you catch that?  " your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst."  I don't know about you, but this is VERY hard.  It's our human instinct to protect ourselves, which usually means acting in a way that's not only contrary to our normal every day behavior but not very Christ-like.  This is not how I react.  I often allow people and situations to dictate how I feel and slump into a bad mood.  How amazing would it be to say that when faced with trying people, I'm at my best.  Whew.  What a goal to strive for. 

The chapter goes on to say: "....for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best - the sun to warm and the rain to nourish - to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that.  If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that. "In a word, what I'm saying is, Grow up. You're kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you." (Matthew 5: 44b-48)

What would happen if Christians all started living generously?  What if we lived out our God-created identity?  What if we responded to trials the way Jesus did?  It's corny to say, but seriously, What Would Jesus Do?   

I'm Proud of Myself Because... Even though I got to bed late, I still woke up at 5am.
Today's Accomplishment: no Subway cookies and extra lettuce and spinach on sandwich (this hasn't happened yet, but it will later. I know I've said this every day, but trust me, it's an accomplishment.)
Tomorrow's Goals: Complete The Biggest Loser workout with few complaints

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