"Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again."
II Corinthians 5:14-15
What does Christ's love compel us to know, be, and do?
Christ's love compels me to know and understand who I am in relationship to God. God sent His only son, Jesus, to this world to become a man and live a perfect life, and do the miraculous in saving me! He died for the world . . . and he died for me. If God - and Jesus - could give up so much for me, for us, then shouldn't that love change me? It surely compels me to want to know him better, to want to understand his heart more, and to want to be more and more like him. It compels me to want to be and do different things than when I am only looking at, and out for, myself. It puts my focus in a totally different place.
This new focus, knowledge, and understanding of God - of who he is, how and why he operates the way he does - compels different ideas within me about who I want to be. I don't want to merely survive. I don't want to do things for temporary glory and satisfaction in this life. I don't even want to settle for "good" in my relationship with my kids (specifically my teen daughter). I want more - I want to be more. I want to be connected to Jesus. I want to know God's heart in different matters. I want the kind of love Jesus has for me to infuse my being and therefore change all of my "doings" with my daughter. Just surviving and getting through the teen years is not enough for me.
Many times I just want to survive and get through the day, the situation, the teen years, until my daughter is all set on her own. That's what my self-focused, short-term thinking, and now-minded self wants; but when I recognize and truly understand God's deep, sacrificial, unconditional forgiveness, love, and purposes for me . . . that compels me to want to be more for my daughter. I no longer want to settle when I approach life with this understanding. The problem - well, one problem - is that I lose sight of these things. I get caught up in myself. I get caught up in the emotion and the drama of different situations. It feels hard - and sometimes it is very difficult. But when I choose to know and understand God better, then I want to be different, and when I am different in my being then I desire to do and respond in different and better ways. This is about changing who I am, not about "fixing" or changing my daughter - who she is or her behavior. This is absolutely about changing myself from the inside out.
When I get to this place where my knowledge of God and Jesus is constantly growing, when I am changing at a heart level, then my natural actions and reactions are different. This does not mean perfection, but my mindset about all of it is different. I still make mistakes, but I know what to do when that happens. I can run to Jesus, seek forgiveness, and ask for his help in the matter. This helps me know what to do.
What do I do when I mess up with my daughter? God knows.
What do I do when I discover that my daughter has been doing things behind my back? God knows.
How do I even begin to repair the deep brokenness in my relationship with my daughter? God knows.
How do I help my daughter with her struggles in school? God knows.
How do I help my daughter navigate a broken relationship with a friend? God knows.
Does God give us people - friends, co-workers, pastors, and spouses - that we can go to for help and advice? Absolutely! But run to God first! He knows you better than you know yourself and he knows your daughter better than anybody else can. Run to God. Ask him. Seek him. Be in a constant journey of learning how to know him and love him, and then he will guide you and give you wisdom, and help you know exactly what to do. He is good that way!
My name is Traci, and I love sharing insights that challenge and encourage people to be the best version of themselves. Click HERE to receive updates from Be Extraordinary!