I thought he’d make me happy. We have such a chemistry. Finishing each other’s sentence makes us know we were meant to be together. It’s this…you know sweet connection, where he gets me and I so get him! Everybody marvels at how we just…you know…connect! It doesn’t hurt that he is so gorgeous and thinks I’m his perfect match. He’s the hero who rescues me when I’m having an off day and makes everything just right!
There are times when I realize that he wants something different from what I want but…with a little persuasion…he comes right around. He allows me to charm him way to easily, though. I just love him!
Recently, I felt like something was wrong. The wedding was literally everything I wanted and he looked amazing in his tailored royal blue suit. It’s the look he had in his eyes as he watched me saunter down the aisle…it was as if I was the most beautiful creation he had ever laid eyes on. I couldn’t help blushing repeatedly.
A rare occurrence lately.
We’re only a few months married, and he seems more meditative and removed. I’m not sure what’s wrong, but I don’t feel happy. Why isn’t he making me happy?
To be honest, I too have become quiet to hide my disappointment. We still laugh together but I don’t feel his effort to do everything in his power to make me happy.
What’s wrong in this story? I’m sure you saw some red flags. Here is one.
No one should carry the heavy weight of responsibility of making you happy. They cannot bear it and they will eventually fail you. Your true satisfaction comes from GOD. He fills every void and makes you a joy-giver. Without a real relationship with Jesus, you will seek to fill that void and be frustrated by man’s inability to do so. The one who made you has everything you need and is more than willing to pour His perfect love into you when you sincerely ask. Then you will be your best self in relationships, giving and receiving love.
“Never place the gravity of marriage on the fickle frame of feelings.”
Jala was almost finished helping Mrs Lueth prepare for all the young adults who were coming over for fun and fellowship that Saturday afternoon. Mrs. Lueth’s house was big enough to accommodate several groups of young adults at the same time and she enjoyed having them over. Jala could hear Mrs. Lueth calling her softly as she finished cleaning off the kitchen countertop.
Jala sank into one of the plush brown outdoor chairs on the balcony, suspicious of what might be coming next.
“Auntie Lu, what’s going on?”
“Something’s been on my mind recently since you introduced me to that young man.”
“Oh dear!” Jala let out a sigh as she cuddled one on the cushions placing one hand under chin. “Do we really have to talk about Ephraim?”
“Aaah… we don’t have to talk about Ephraim, but we do have to talk about you. I’ve been praying for you, asking GOD what’s happening? Jala…You are in a series of reaction. I only wonder if you can see what you’re reacting to.”
Jala felt something in the pit of her stomach. This conversation has gone so deep so fast. She knew she could not be surface her answers to Mrs. Lueth. She was motherly with a dark chocolate complexion and pleasingly plump, with deep dimples that created apostrophes around her smile.
“Auntie, I don’t want to go back to where I’m coming from.” The tears started welling up in Jala’s eyes but Auntie Lue was not letting up. Her gentle countenance was most disarming, backed by her evident love. She folded Jala into a side hug which softly communicated that there was no getting away.
“You’re in quite a fight Jala. I see you waging a war against what started on the inside of you. When you end the war inside you’ll end the war outside.”
“These people hurt me! They dragged my name through the mud. Hardly any ever asked me to my face what happened. People I trusted spread lies about me and him. I’m still so embarrassed. I genuinely thought Jonathan loved me and was interested in being married to me. We got prophesies, Auntie!”
Jala was breaking and tears were flowing from her broken heart as she struggled to control her usually well guarded emotions.
“People said I slept with him! Oh my goodness Auntie. I felt like a church floozy! Me…a virgin!”
“It’s ok precious. It’s ok!” Auntie held her the more but Jala heaved until they were both on the tiled floor.
“Just let it out.”
“I never talked about it! I felt too ashamed. I messed up! I went too far with him. I could hardly talk to God after my repeated offence. Again I felt ashamed. Auntie….only to find out I was just one of the girls he was with in the church?
Her mouth opened with no words or sound, just tears. All this time Jala toughened up and blamed herself for being this foolish.
Auntie moaned alongside Jala like a midwife helping her to give birth.
“Let it out,” she comforted.
“It wasn’t even a month later he was engaged! I looked like I was trying break up their union…Auntie I wanted answers! Why did he choose me to make a fool of and why didn’t I see? How did I miss God?”
After many tears and snot, Mrs Lueth prayed her red hot fiery prayer for Jala, who was like a soaked handkerchief.
“You must forgive yourself Jala. You’ve repented for you part. Receive God’s forgiveness and freely give forgiveness to those who hurt you. The more you hold on to the pain, the less able you are to move forward. Your healing has started.”
Mrs. Lueth wiped her face.” Jala, remember that Ephraim was not there. He should not be punished for what others did.
“I knew that in my head. I felt I could not allow him to think for a moment that I was interested in him. I realized that I really enjoy his friendship once there was no threat of a relationship or others thinking there was.
Mrs. Lueth could hear the cars pulling into the cul de sac and got up to remotely open the gates from the balcony so that the early birds could park in the yard.
Walking back to Jala she added, “Don’t waste your energy trying to get people not to talk about you. My mother once told me, ‘Live free and let people be.'”
Jala quickly got off the floor, to fix up before everyone was inside the house. “Thank you Aunty Lue. I feel so light. Yes, and free!”
As soon as she disappeared in the bathroom, Chari’s loud voice filled the house.
“Auntie Lue, I smell something good!”
Abe and Ephraim followed behind carrying all the bags Chari gave them to take in the house.
“Hello my children,” Auntie did a dance coming down the stairs. She greeted them one by one and made effort to especially welcome Ephraim.
“Where’s Jala, Aunt?”
It’s been a hectic morning. She’s gone to shower.”
“So Ephraim I hear that you go to the Baptist Church not far from us.”
“Yes, mam,” answered Ephraim trying not to appear awkward while fighting the memory of his first introduction to Aunty Lue.
The three sat around the island in the kitchen, while Auntie Lue plastic wrapped the trays of food and chatted about her friends at the Baptist Church that Ephraim attends.
The bell rang again as Jala came into the kitchen greeting everyone and she grabbed the remote to open up from the balcony.
“Can I help you with anything,” asked Ephraim.
“Great, thank you. Ephraim, you take the igloo out to the balcony, Abe you get the ice from the deep freezer and Chari you come with me.”
As Ephraim headed to the balcony he hesitated as if he wanted to make a u-turn.
“Fraim, sang Jala, I’m so glad you came.”
“Really, cause I don’t want to embarrass you anymore.”
“You don’t embarrass me, but I’m embarrassed about my behaviour toward you. Could we please start over?
Jala extended her hand for a handshake.
“Nope,” Ephraim turned his back.
“But we can pick up from the where we left off in benevolence.”
Jala slowly breathed a sigh of relief, quickly shaking Ephraim’s hand.
“Friends,” they both agreed.
Auntie Lue glanced at them and gave out a “Thank you Jesus!”
Chari and Abe were just in time to create a huddle and a strong bond was formed.
Hey, we’re not done. More Church Girl Series coming. Tell us if you can relate these characters and scenarios. Jot us a line and be sure to share the story with friends. Thanks in advance!
For the past three months Ephraim worked assiduously setting in place the cupboard and shelves in the benevolence room, while Jala put her finishing touch on the space to make it warmer and more welcoming. Looking around the large room she could see her goal of serving the poor with honor becoming a reality. When she remembered what the benevolence ministry once looked like and what it is now, she felt a sense of accomplishment. Her goal now is to get people serving in the ministry who share her heart for the poor.
It was easy for her to work with Ephraim after getting over the night of the explosion and the gossip that followed. He understood what she wanted to accomplish in preserving people’s dignity while lending a helping hand. He installed cupboards to store barrels of food in the most discreet ways, while creating partitions in the room. Jala’s friend, Abe, shouldered up the responsibility of helping the men who came for benevolence, find jobs, by liaising with companies in the area. Jala had a way of prompting people to use their passion toward their purpose. Abe had a serious problem giving to men who did not work or try to find a job. He had his scripture verses to back it and would faithfully quote 2 Thes 3:10 If a man will not work, he shall not eat!
It was Friday evening and all the friends had gathered in the benevolence room chatting away. Chari made her usual larger than life entrance with finger foods and drinks.
“Welcome, welcome Chari, the bearer of good food!” chimed Abe.
“What exactly are we celebrating,” asked Jala, confused.
“We are celebrating, silly, the completion and opening of the new benevolence room!”
“You’re right Chari. We should celebrate!”
Abe wasted no time cranking up the music.
“Oh, by the way, Pastor Pruitt said to tell you that he will be dedicating it during second service on Sunday. So, you know that all of us will have to be there. He will be calling on us.”
“All of us?” queried Jala. “Ephraim that’s your church time.”
Jala had mixed feeling about his attending even though the four of them had bonded together so much as they worked on the ministry. She was afraid of another round of gossip.
After being called to the front of the church and applauded for their work in benevolence, everyone came to greet them after church.
Mrs. Lueth, who had been like a mentor to Jala and a safe place for many young adults at the church, asked “Is this the Ephraim I have been hearing about?”
“I’m not sure Miss, but it’s a pleasure to meet you.” He reached out his hand with a grin and shook hers.
“Ephraim? No. He just did carpentry work for us in benevolence. That’s all!”
Jala quickly looked at Ephraim, whose expression was immediately one of displeasure.
Many crowded around the benevolence area to see the changes, while Chari tried her best to recruit persons for the ministry. Abe entered their information into his laptop as Chari brought them in. Soon, Jala noticed Ephraim heading through the door.
“Ephraim! You’re leaving?”
“Yes, I guess my job is done here.”
Both Chari and Abe joined them.
“Fraim, we’re meeting up over Jala’s house after this. You’re coming, right?
“Aaaah, I’m not sure.”
Abe realized that something was wrong and pulled Ephraim aside to talk to him.
Jala knew she had finally offended Ephraim enough to get a reaction out of him.
As soon as Ephraim entered Jala’s apartment, he was like a pipe turn on.
“Listen, I don’t know how you all do Christianity, but it could be because I’m the youngest Christian among us. I kinda thought others mattered and that everyone was someone. I’ve chucked a lot of things up to growing in GOD but I’m frankly tired. It took everything for me to come here.”
“Wait, wait, wait man. What happen? I knew something went wrong at church but what happened?”
“I don’t know where to start. I guess there are many strikes against me and this friendship. I’m trying to figure it out! I’m a new Christian. I’m from another Church. I’m the handyman! All these factors put together make me “just the guy who worked in benevolence!” Should I be ashamed to be a carpenter or am I just out of your league?
“Wow! Oh my goodness! Ephraim we are all friends! None of those things matter,” said Chari. She looked at her dear friend Jala and saw guilt all over her face.
Ephraim continued, “No, I was so excited to see people my age living their Christianity and selflessly pouring into the lives of the poor, so I thought I had found my place. Somehow, I keep feeling like I’m an embarrassment just for existing. First, I tried to help Jala come out of the dark building when she hurt her ankle and she was ashamed that I did so. Confusing! After that I was treated weird, and at a distance for some time, and just when I feel like I’m making friends, this morning she introduced me to her mentor as an insignificant handy boy. No, you didn’t call me that…but that’s what it felt like. I’m sorry! I can’t do this!
Ephraim headed to the door. Abe ran in front of him blocking the door with his 6 ft 4 frame.
“Fraim, give us a chance to talk this out. We heard you and we understand where you’re coming from.
Finally, feeling forced to speak and yet afraid Jala spoke up.
“I’m sorry Ephraim.” She could hardly look him in the face. “It’s not your fault and the truth is that you don’t deserve any of this. I just have some issue to deal with and ever since you came around, they’ve been surfacing one after the other.”
“So, what is it, Jala?”
I can’t say right now, but it has absolutely nothing to do with you. Please forgive me.”
“Let’s eat guys,” said Chari, breathing a sigh of relief and quickly setting everything at the table to make everyone comfortable.
She walked into the kitchen and motioned for Jala to join her. As soon as she was close enough, she whispered, “I told you you’ve got to get some counselling!”
Wouldn’t you agree that Jala has some deep seated issues to confront? Stick with us for all the upcoming confrontations.
We crave your feedback and would love to hear what you’d like to say to these characters.
Chari had the bad habit of knocking while attempting to open Jala’s apartment door.
“Jala! You knew if you didn’t answer the phone I’d be coming over.” She knocked again impatiently and twisted the doorknob.
Eventually, Jala came to the door not saying a word. Chari came in with food in hand and proceeded to the kitchen counter to share it out.
“I stopped by benevolence after work, and they said you didn’t come by…Sunday you slipped out just before church ended. What’s going on, Jala?”
“I’m just trying to lay low and get these folks off my back. Ever since the gas station explosion and Ephraim helped me out of the building, I can’t get these people off my back! I wouldn’t be surprised if they were planning our wedding.”
“You take things too seriously, Jala. I would not care one iota if it were me. No! None of them would have anything to say to me. I would play with them and give them something to talk about when I turn my back.”
Chari laughed as she created scenarios to provoke the nosy church folks.
The two friends sat eating at Jala’s small round dining table. A flowery pendant light hung just above their heads. Chari knew her favourite Chinese dishes and sought to use food to get pass Jala’s walls. Canton Kitchen served the best kung pao chicken and noodles and they were near Jala’s apartment.
“On a serious note, though Jala, I think you are still reacting to the embarrassing situation you went through with Jonathan almost four years ago.”
“Oh no, you don’t! Chari, is that what you’ve come here for, to drag up my past and make me a counselling case?”
“Relax! We’ve been best friends longer than you and I can remember, so I think I should be able to point out a little trauma in my bestie’s life. Jonathon was a colossal mess! With his high tenor voice and pretentiousness, he had half the ladies in the church convinced he only had eyes for them. He sounds like one of the beasts in Revelation with eyes everywhere. He lured you into his web!”
“Ok, I was an idiot!
“No way! You’ve got to let that go and forgive yourself. The guy was like Solomon without the wisdom. Many women fell for him.”
“Why couldn’t I see that he was not interested in me? I was an idiot! A man who does not want to be seen in public with you, ignores you at church but calls you the moment you reach home to express his undying love, should raise many red flags. But, not to me he didn’t. I was smitten despite your caution. Well, no need to repeat that situation! I’ll make sure of that.”
“Girl, at the sound of things, you are not about to let any other man in.”
“Look at you! You’re a genius!” exclaimed Jala finally laughing. She felt empowered and in control.
“Oh, speaking of not letting another man in…guess who I saw when I stopped by the benevolence room? Ephraim. He was asking me for you.”
“Pastor Pruit must have let him in to work. I was so into my selfish slump I didn’t remember I was supposed to open up for him.
Jala suddenly stopped and looked at her friend. “You weren’t thinking that I had interest in Ephraim too?”
“Oh, no!” snapped Chari with both hands in the air. “I would never assume that you would even consider a handsome, mannerly carpenter of a man! No doubt he has no degree!”
Chari continued with great sarcasm. “After all, of what use is a man like that!”
“Firstly, I don’t know a thing about him.
“Secondly, even if did, I would not like to be in a relationship.
Thirdly, I could not take a carpenter home to meet my mom! So, let that set your mind at ease.”
“Jala, I knew all your numbers from one to three already. We’ve been here many times. I know…he’s a pleasant guy though.”
“Yea, I agree.”
“By the way, I gave him your number.”
“You said he was a nice guy! He wanted to check up on you and find out how your ankle was doing. He said from he dropped you off that night he never heard another word from you even though he gave you his number for you to call if you needed help.
“Precisely, I didn’t need help! I still don’t!”
“Ooooo, so edgy Jala!”
Jala sighs and admitted that poor Ephraim was not deserving of this harshness nor this situation in which he was involuntarily placed.
“To be honest, Jala, Ephraim is a wonderful human and we had a great time chatting. I can see us being good friends.”
“Wow, that’s big of you! We know he wouldn’t make it to the husband list because he’s a carpenter. Still, I’m impressed that he is worthy of friendship.”
There’s a knock on the door and Chari wastes no time parting Jala’s damask patterned curtains to see who’s outside.
“Speaking of forever friend zone,” she whispered loudly to Jala. “Hello Abe!”
Jala dramatically flung the door open freezing in a grinning pose.
“Oh, I forgot you live here. Hi Jala,” he said, passing Chari to hug Jala.
“Hey Abe. Why didn’t you tell me you were coming by?”
“Jala, you don’t answer your phone and besides, you may say no. What are friends for!”
“Indeed, what are some friends for?” chimed Chari looking at Abe. Their friendship has been much like this.
“So where is your new friend, Jala?” inquired Abe, who is known for his blunt and unfiltered communication.
“You know about Ephraim too?”
“Of course, not because I play the drums mean I don’t hear what’s going on. I hear that you and him have been an item for some time now. I’m just wondering how I didn’t hear about him as your dear friend who you love, by the way!”
“Here we go!” shouted Jala jumping from her chair.
Chari’s eyes opened wide. “Do tell Abe!”
“Do tell what! You already know the truth. I met the guy moments before the gas station explosion. That’s what you get when you go to a small church and everybody knows everybody and tries to marry you to anybody!”
“What does this remind you of? This was what happened when Jonathan was found out after leading all these young ladies on…including our dear Jala,” added Abe.”
“That is what it feels like! People nosing into my business and assuming a lot. That’s why I keep myself to myself. I hope God gives me a husband who is from a different church!
No one calls to find out the truth but continues to talk and build lies.”
As if on cue, Jala’s phone rings.
“It’s condescending Connie from core.
“Hi Connie, how are you?”
“Hi Jala, I didn’t see you at core yesterday so I just call to check on you.”
“Actually Connie, I’ve been missing core for almost a month, but thanks for calling I’m fine.
Yes, I did hurt my ankle, but the swelling went down.”
Yes…It was lovely of the gentleman to help.”
Both Chari and Abe were laughing uncontrollably at Jala, who was trying to maintain her cool.
No soon as Jala came off the phone with eyes rolling. It rang again.
“Let me answer her,” shouted Chari.
Jala looked down at her phone wondering who was calling.
“Let me answer!” Chari snatched the phone from Jala.
“You’ve reached the number of Jala McKnight, how can I help you?”
“Oh no! Just a minute.”
She motioned for Jala to get to the phone quickly while Abe whispered, “Who is it?”
The story began in Part 1 of the Church Girl Series. Look out for Part 3 soon. Find out how Jala confronts her deep rooted issues…including the meddling saints.
I get it! You are not a “mealist!” Right? Me-ology could never be a part of your theology! After all, you love people and enjoy doing things for people. As a matter of fact you go out of your way to let your friends know that you care for them. There is not a selfish bone in your body!
Great! Now that we have that out of the way, you can relax. We are going to talk about your friends now, so gather all the information you can so you can help them.
You would admit that there is no way of knowing how good a friend you are until you have faithfully walked your friend through good and testing times and remain a true friend. Likewise you don’t truly know that you are unselfish unless you have had opportunity to deny yourself for others. Ironically, a me-alist or me-ologist can truly be helpful to others, but within a set constraint define only by him or her. If only life was this tidy!
It’s been a long time since you have had the feeling that someone gets you like this does. Face it, he is Mr. Fantastic! But Sis…Could your years of “doing you” make it difficult to do “us?”
The early stages of relationships make little sacrificial demand on a person and besides, both are intrigued by the mystery of the other. The consideration is whether or not he checks your boxes and you his. In between the laughter and compliments, you’re wondering if he is the one. Any me-alistic tendency is well under wraps and your cutest side is always what is seen and heard. You can see that this guy really likes you and you are over the moon. He fills your thoughts and you both cannot stop talking. Your primary focus is making each other happy and this force of “nice-ness” pulls you to conclude that your relationship must step it up to the next level of commitment.
“We are like, really serious about each other. He said he wants to spend his life loving me!”
Attraction is a strong force!
You might think that being selfish is just not sharing your things and money with others. However, a deeper level of selfishness is engrained in the heart and expresses itself through control, silence, inexplicable limits as well as self imposed irrational rules. Ouch!
A deeper bond is being formed, but with it comes greater expectations. These expectations are like spirits, present but unseen or heard. They are driving your relationship and you don’t know it. You reason that since he has gotten so many things right, the rest should be breeze. As expectation rises, so does the demand to sacrifice your set ways. The greatest goal is no longer to show my best side but to protect my turf. While the heart is intensely devoted, there is discomfort caused by this person who wants to pull the me-alist from her comfort zone.
Mood: “I literally don’t talk to people when I feel like this.” “No I don’t need your help with this – I must do it alone.” “You know there are certain vulnerabilities we avoid sharing.” “This is the way I do life!” “This is my space!” “It’s hard to keep up with your emotional demands. You know I’m not the affectionate type. I told you how I was…why did you expect something else, though.“
Compounding the problem: The closer you get to him, the more visible his flaws.
All of us have a tendency to be selfish and self-focused. As mentioned in the original me-ology blog, there is a greater propensity for women who have been single for a long time and live alone. This person has had a lot of experience thinking, planning for, taking care of herself. It’s a huge adjustment to let someone in all the way.
Relationships end unnecessarily simply because the level of adjustment for a me-ologist seem insurmountable and sacrifice too much! It may even appear that this fellow is asking for too much!
You might think that this person should satisfy you and make you happy, but that is a tall order for any man to fill. As a matter of fact, he can’t even make himself happy. That God-size void can only be filled by the one who gave you the desire for LOVE. He, Himself is LOVE.
What if we can help you understand that you may just have some me-alistic blind spots that you can work through. Whether the guy is in view or not, begin to check yourself. If you do have a tried, tested and proven friend, ask if there are blind spots that you should work on so that your relationships can be healthy.
Authentic relationships require sacrifice. Sacrifice means it’s inconvenient and sometimes goes beyond what you were ready to give. You don’t have to get it right! However, you have to commit to advancing toward it.
We all have some measure of Me-ology, but we’re after spotting it and making the adjustments. If you’re like me, I could share anything with you but my unprocessed thoughts. You can imagine that this is particularly annoying when I’m clearly displeased but process the problem over a three day period, while the person is waiting for a response. This is unfair and selfish! What does the person do in the meantime? Self-doubt, question the viability of the relationship, fear offending you, decide to withhold from you as well? If we are not careful, we can make a little god of ourselves, which we expect people to worship.
Compromise merges two entities in a relationship. If we are maturing we will realize that there are many ways that things can be done, even unfamiliar ways. Sis…and yes Bruh, don’t get so caught up with you that the ones closest to to are ignored and hurt.
Me-ology is toxic and can kill relationships! Spot it in your relationship and yourself and remove quickly!
Meeting that someone, who is much more than all the other “someones” and feeling like this is home, is priceless!
There is a peace that tells you it’s safe to proceed.
You’re getting to know each other and learning the nuances of relating to each other. Some days you can see the future as plain as ever, while others you wonder if you can live with this imperfect human. How dare him not be made in the image and the likeness of the man that you constructed in your head!
After all, that man is perfect!
Still, this relationship is causing you to get over your more blatant “Meology theology.” You know the realization that the whole world does not move at your pace to accomplish your will. Yea…especially if you’re in your 20’S it takes some reckoning. Not to worry, change is at your door.
Marriage is in view and it’s scary exciting! Okay, at times it’s downright frightening when you consider how much you have to give up to become one with this unknown entity. At another glance, you wonder how you could be this blessed to have such a beautiful heart pant after yours. If you get your eyes off the image of perfection you have constructed in your mind, you can admit that his character is what you have prayed for and desired. After admitting that you love him and you’re in love with him, I have a question for you.
Can you follow his lead? A godly woman should seek to answer this question before her heart completely melts at his acts of kindness and his projection for the future. Before you consider marriage, you have to resolve that based on his core beliefs and persuasion, you can follow him. As Christians, we understand that the Marriage Maker has made the man the head of the household and the woman his suitable mate. This places the woman in a place of being very alert concerning who she allows her heart to be tangled with. If you cannot follow his lead, you will lead a rebellion against him.
“How can two walk together unless they agree?” Amos 3:3
You’d be surprised or not that you can easily attempt a coup against this man you love, for the marriage to go the way you see it. It is crucial to know that you are following the lead of someone who himself is under God’s leadership and agrees that he aims to love you as Christ loves the Church and gave Himself for it.
I recall someone poking fun at a gentleman she considered suitable for me in the presence of my mentor, who snapped and wiped the smile off our faces. In a strict tone, she opined, “She will not marry anyone who she can lead, or she will!”
I had to admit that she was right. I had to marry someone I honor and respect. His persuasion and moral stance command honor before he says a word. I was confident that I could follow his lead, even when I wanted it my way. I trusted who leads him to lead our family and our lives.
So ask yourself that question having noticed his consistency of character and devotion to God. Save yourself the unnecessary trauma. Consider why you’d be challenged to follow his lead. Be honest with yourself before getting too attached.
If your answer is ‘yes,’ happy courting!
Me-alistically speaking…the basic principles of the Bible wrestle against the common culture of me-ology. Me-ology is the study of self and what pleases self. Imagine your precious soul grappling with the concept of putting others first, verses that of “just do you.” Come on, we all would love to hear that we are free to do “us.” “Yay! I can do what I want, when I want to and the way I want to! Is this not freedom, O!”
Ok, stop your old school dancing now! It won’t work! Actually, you know deep down that it cannot work. Truthfully speaking, there is a gravitational pull toward me-ology everyday of our lives. It’s only the resolute who can actively deny self-worship and share their light with others. Otherwise, we jealously guard our space. “You’re in my space,” we think loudly as we’re pushed to entertain someone beyond our comfort zone. Not to mention that there is but so much time that we can afford to give to someone else’s cause before returning to “my issues.” Don’t worry… the gravitational pull to be selfish is great on us all, whether we choose to admit it or not. Married or single.
I wish I could tell you that I found in the Bible the verse which says, “love yourself.” It would be the most quoted! Instead…Jesus had this to say…
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Mt 22:37-39 ESV
I can imagine the disciples listening to how we ought to love GOD while wait to hear the assignment to love yourself. Jesus seemed to skip over that one and went on to talk about loving our neighbors! Tucked underneath that verse is “as yourself.” This statement presupposes that we already love ourselves. The work then is how to love others with that same careful attention paid to ourselves. This is why I say Christianity is not for wimps! So muscle up!
If JESUS ever loooved himself, we would never hear of the cross nor the verse which says “greater love hath no man than this, than for a man to lay down his life for his friends.”
So if you’re in love, let me tell you what you’re signing up for. If you love your friends, family, co-worker let me shed some light on that commitment. It’s a commitment to sacrifice your meological thinking for the good of others with no strings attached. Let’s take a closer look at love…
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1Cor 13:4-7
Wait! Before you walk away saying, “In that case, I don’t love nobody!” There are illustrious blessing for loving selflessly like this! Here is another principle for you…when you sow love, it grows exponentially and you and your children will reap a harvest. You have it in you to love much stronger than you have, if JESUS is within you.
Meology cannot be your life’s theology if you intend to do life God’s way.
Catch up on the previous blog “Me-ology”