laugh… at yourself

the other night i was driving home from a deliriously fun evening with my long-time friend at six flags.  we went to fright fest and screamed until our vocal cords hurt… on the roller coasters, that is.  not at the scary actors walking around with shovels and chainsaws.  after hours of walking around, waiting in lines, enjoying the rides and fighting the cold weather, we were sleepy.

we got to talking about memories of the “halloween season” from our childhood.  i shared that we never really celebrated halloween growing up (it’s satanic… mom! :P).  instead, we used to decorate for “harvest.”  i have fond memories of painting pumpkins, following the narrow trail to find candy bars at a local park, and playing in leaf piles with my sister and brother.

then… the blonde moment.

i said, “yea, and my mom used to get hail bays…”

(few second pause while i try to correct myself)

“…no wait… bays of hail…”

i still knew that that wasn’t right.  but i couldn’t figure out how to fix it.  remember, it is late.  we are delirious.  but then, the wave of laughter hits us like a tsunami.  we are in hysterics.  i have a stitch in my side and my face hurt.  tears are welling in my eyes.  we are imagining large bodies of water, like the one surrounding nyc, filled with chunks of ice and laugh even harder. meanwhile, my friend was so patient as i struggled through the cackling to correct myself.

she graciously offered, “you mean, hay bails?”

“yes. clearly yes.”

i share all of this to illustrate a point.  i’ve learned recently that i’ve got a problem with performance orientation.  i have this incorrect way of thinking that in order to receive love, i need to DO something.  if i do well, i get love.  if i mess up, i don’t get love. (LIES!!)  i am working on unlearning this pattern in my mind and replacing it with God’s truth – that there is nothing i can or cannot do that will make Him love me more or less.  His love is enough, and He loves me just the way i am.  huge.

one of the ways of helping a performance oriented individual “get over” performing, is through teasing and laughing… at themselves.  so i laughed and i laughed at my mistake.  and i felt the healing powers flow through my vains.  granted, this is kind of a silly example of a mess up, but it triggered my brain to enjoy my mistake instead of letting it get a hold of me.  slowly, my mind is being transformed, renewed, restored (Romans 12:2).  i’m taking small steps to apply this truth to my future mistakes.

so, all you performance oriented readers, make mistakes and laugh often!

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discipleship defined

recently i was asked to give my definition of what discipleship is.  it took me a moment to organize my thoughts, but it is a part of Christianity that is very important to me and unfortunately is overlooked.  so i prayed about it and i think it comes down to this simple definition.

a person is made of body, soul, and spirit, right?  effective discipleship is when Christians are connected in each of these areas.  physically, they are “doing life” together.  mentally, they are passing revelation from the Word and pearls of wisdom to each other.  spiritually, they are seeking Jesus and praying together.

if you look at examples from Scripture, you can see that Jesus’ disciples followed this definition.  all throughout the gospels we read stories of them being with each other all the time, engaging in everyday activies like fishing (John 21:1-3), eating (Luke 22:14), and evangelizing (Matt 10:10). 

they pass along wisdom and revelation, like through peter’s address to the crowd in Acts 2:14-35, which encouraged other brothers (and sisters, i think!) to repent, be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit that was promised.  thousands were added to the Church that day and began their own journeys with Jesus.

finally, they pray together, as seen in Acts 1 and 2, seeking the Lord’s heart and the Spirit’s power.  this is important because if Christians just do life together and talk about their “revelations”, Christianity could just become a community of self-seeking religious people.  i fear that in some ways, it already has.  praying together and seeking the Lord’s face realigns our will and focuses our attention on what God thinks is important, not on what we think is important.

so discipleship is simple.  body, soul, spirit.  get connected to other believers physically, mentally, and spiritually and watch your relationship with Christ and with each other grow deeper than you could have ever imagined.

let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.
and let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing,
but let us encourage one another daily – and all the more as you see the Day approaching

hebrews 10:23-25