You Are a Letter

Monday School is the newest feature on my blog. For more about it go here.

This week’s Monday School comes from verses I first read and thought about years ago and ones I talked about at a women’s event. I’m thinking about them again. The verses are found in 2 Corinthians.

You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”
2 Corinthians 3:2-3 NIV

The Message puts it like this:  “Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you. Christ himself wrote it—not with ink, but with God’s living Spirit; not chiseled into stone, but carved into human lives….”

My life is a letter. Yours is too. Not the kind written with pen and ink on tablets, but written with the Spirit of God upon our hearts.

So what do our lives say?

Do our lives say we love God or that we’re busy for God? Are we checking off the “good Christian” boxes or are we allowing Him to change us from the inside?

Do we love others? Those that are different than we are? Those we don’t understand?

Do we value relationships over routine? Are we distracted or engaged with the people around us? Are we easily offended?

Does my life say I’m grateful for God’s grace or does it say I deserve it? Does my life make those around me want to know God? Want to trust Him and love Him?

Hard questions. And honestly, ones I can’t always answer the way I want to.

God means for our lives to be a love letter, and He knows we’ll have good days and bad days. When asking ourselves what our lives say we shouldn’t look at a snapshot view. We can’t answer by looking at a day or a moment in time.

Instead let’s look at the whole of our lives……the complete view. The busy seasons, the slower ones and the growing ones. The hard and painful seasons and the sweetest ones.

“……you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.”  Colossians 1:10b NLT

Are we growing? Are we more patient? Less selfish?

Are we sensitive enough to know when our lives aren’t saying what they should say?

Are we quick to admit our mistakes, apologize and ask forgiveness?

Do our failures make us more gracious toward others? Do we forgive easily?

Are we surrendering more and more to God’s way of doing things?

Yes, let’s ask what our lives say now. But let’s ask what our lives will say tomorrow, next year, in fifteen years, and beyond.

What will your life say?

 

 

 

 

 

A Love Letter

I found a letter in between the pages of one of my Bibles.  I keep it as a reminder of where we were.

It’s a love letter.  Not the mushy kind inspired by infatuation.  No, the only similarity to a middle school love note is the notebook paper on which it’s written.  This love letter is not the kind filled with dreamy visions of the future.  It’s not loaded with good intentions or empty promises.  No fancy words were used, no love songs quoted.  This love letter was a simple expression of his feelings for me.  And a surprise one, too, because it had been at least ten years since the last one.

Hard times caused him to write it.  We were struggling.  Not connecting, not agreeing, whatever the reason, hard times came.  We weren’t doing so well with them.  We lost it with each other.  We said things we meant at the moment but wish we hadn’t.  Things like, “I can’t do this anymore” or “do what you have to do.”  Words that made us wonder if we even knew each other at all.  The kind of words that hurt deep down.  Then the silence would come and sometimes more anger.  Most of the time the silence brought revelation, understanding, conviction.  It definitely brought regret.  I came face to face with my foolishness, my pride, and that brought its own kind of pain.

He chose to break the silence with a love letter.  I remember the moment clearly.  He didn’t say a word when he handed me the folded piece of paper.  He left me alone to read.  I won’t share his words, those are mine. But I know they were written in a moment of pure love, the kind you feel so intensely that you think your heart will burst. The kind we express when we love our best.

We are still learning to love well.

I have a long way to go.  But I’m on the edge of becoming someone better, someone more free to love the way I’m supposed to.  God is transforming me with His perfect love and I’m still learning.

This learning process seems painfully slow at times.  But I’m not defeated when I mess up.

John Piper writes in his book When I Don’t Desire God, “To be sure, our all-too-slow growth in Christ-likeness matters.  It is the necessary evidence that our faith is real.  But, oh what a difference it makes to be assured, in the discouraging darkness of our own imperfections, that we have a perfect righteousness – namely Christ’s”

“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own”.  

Philippians 3:12  NLT

So I cherish this letter and all the other perfect moments we share.