Look, listen, and live

I read a blog post from a friend of mine the other week. It was all about when “good” Christians do bad things. You can read it here (and I can highly recommend it!). I came away reminded that what makes me a “good” disciple is not my performance or behavior (although I should see this improve consistently over time), but rather the fact that I continue to look to and lean on the One I follow because he has the words and the life that I need so much. Little did I know I would have a terrific real-world example of just this in my own life within a matter of days.

I had a thing happen at work where I ended up being upset with a co-worker. The same thing happened a couple times more, and I started hold a grudge. One night after this happened again, my spirit was so unsettled by it all that I could not fall back to sleep. Lying there, it struck me: I don’t have to hold on to this anger and bitterness. I am choosing to do so, but I can choose something different. Right then and there, I turned my mind and my heart toward Jesus and started talking to him about the whole thing. He gave me what I did not have within myself–the capacity to absorb the wrong I perceived had been done to me and to replace it with love and patience. I was back asleep soon after.

This is a small thing, I suppose. But it was a huge thing to me that night. This is what it looks like to exchange my tired, worn-out life with the unending, undying life of Jesus. As I learn to do so in small things like this, I will eventually mature to the point where I can do the same in big things. Along the way, I can encourage others to do the same and speak from my own experience to testify to the fact that “It works!”

Anything I find myself holding onto that makes me feel lousy, anything to which I turn for comfort that does not provide lasting fulfillment—all of it can be traded in to Jesus and swapped out for his life instead. This is a great promise, a solid truth, and a way of life.

Matthew 11:28 is one of my family’s memory verses. Jesus says to us: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” I have verified that this is quite literally true!

Jeff Herron

Homeschooling dad of two boys. Husband of one terrific woman. Disciple of and disciple maker for Jesus. My cup runneth over!

6 thoughts on “Look, listen, and live

  1. Jeff,

    Love your points and application in this article. Three things in particular:

    (1), You say, “I don’t have to hold on to this anger and bitterness. I am choosing to do so, but I can choose something different.” EXACTLY! You just reminded me that my thoughts are choices. I subconsciously think I’m a robot and can’t choose. Thank you!

    (2) You say, “I turned my mind and my heart toward Jesus and started talking to him about the whole thing.” What I like about this great sentence is how it turns prayer into just talking with God; not just “intercessions” or even “praise” but talking as with a friend.

    (3) And you say, “He gave me what I did not have within myself–the capacity to absorb the wrong….” I also keep forgetting that I need His Spirit in me (in us) in order to handle life; as you put it, he gave you the “capacity to absorb the wrong.”

    Beautiful! Thanks,

    Sam

    1. Thank you, Sam, for the blog post that got me thinking along these lines in the first place–and for your excellent recent addition to the body of work on prayer (Hearing God in Conversation). These sorts of virtual back-and-forth exchanges are one way we in the Body can encourage one another here in the 21st century! I am indebted to your faithfulness in starting and maintaining your Beliefs of the Heart blog. I look forward to it every week.

      May you continue to be blessed in 2017, even as you continue to be a blessing to so many. 🙂

    1. Thank you, John! I can think of no greater encouragement I have had this year than getting to know you and your family and seeing how Jesus has transformed your lives. Keep fighting the good fight! I pray we will be able to walk the path together for a long ways ahead yet. Blessings on you all.

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