If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:2 (Message)
It’s been four months since I started with this One Word 2013: Jesus thing.
On the outside, I added an extra layer of Gospel reading to my regular Bible reading schedule. I’ve learned more of how Jesus shows up in the Hebrew scriptures as well as in the New Testament stories in Jesus: A Theography; more about the culture of his time in Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus; more about how to converse about him in ordinary ways in Speaking of Jesus.
I’ve experimented with different spiritual practices of Jesus, like paying attention and wearing skin and observing a Sabbath. I’m learning how to surrender more to him with a weekly Centering Prayer group. I’m trying to take more risks in loving others like I think he would.
And doing this and that and the other and
. . . blah, blah, blah.
While those things are fine—and I’ve benefited from each of them and pray I continue—those are only things I am DOING.
The more important question is:
Who am I BEING?
We all know this truth: Without love, I am nothing.
If not for Jesus, I am empty.
The goal isn’t just to DO differently; it’s to BE different.
I can’t make love happen on my own. I can mimic it on the outside through loving actions, but I can’t melt my own heart. For love to be alive, I need it to crawl inside me and live outward from there (Galatians 2:20).
And Jesus does.
Because Jesus is.
Inside, he’s working to get my BE right, so my DO will be richer, deeper, stronger. More real. More loving. More like him.
So I’ll try to keep DOING: learning and serving and praying.
But it’s the BEING I’m really after.
Because I don’t only want to DO like Jesus (not that I’ll ever get there either!), I want to BE like Jesus.
If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.
1 Corinthians 13:3 (Message)
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It’s our one word 2013 monthly check-in. What are you learning from your one word 2013?