You Become What You Love


This has been ringing in my ears since the past Sunday’s sermon delivered by Pastor Brett Glover. It has provoked deep thinking and sustained a good reminder for my week.

Essentially, it’s human inclination to lean towards what you love. We are fearfully and wonderfully created for worship. But if we aren’t careful with what we choose to love, and eventually worship, we may find ourselves trapped in meaningless ways. 

Of course, not everything is meaningless but there is truth in the saying, where your love of something steers your priority in life. It becomes your natural priority compass. 

“If you love alcohol, you will become a drunk.”

“If you love money, you will become materially possessed.”

“If you love work, you will become a workaholic.” 

Makes me ponder how deeply rooted my love is for Christ and His teachings and whether I love it enough to ALWAYS choose Him…. 

What do YOU love the most?

 🍩,🍷, 💰,🤸🏻‍♀️, 🤳🏼, ? Or ✝️?
 #soulfoodforthought

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Love Someone You Find Hardest to Love

It’s always easier to love those whom we find loveable. But Jesus teaches us (or dare I say “challenges” us) to not just love those whom you find loveable.

We’ve all heard it. Love thy neighbour as you love yourself. Even when it’s hard.
Challenge yourself and see how your heart, mind and soul grows!

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Isn’t it so easy to love that cute baby who’s cooing and giggling?  But it’s not so easy to love him/her the same way when he/she’s screaming in the middle of the night for ‘who-knows-why’ when you’re already sleep deprived.   Parents out there, give me a ‘yes’?!

And this, was a gentle example.  Need I go in deeper?

You are built with love, to love, for love and in love.  So, it becomes a perpetuating cycle if you hold back on loving someone even if they are hard to love.  In fact, the most liberating thing is to love, even when it’s hardest.

LOVE and FORGIVENESS go hand in hand.  You were created to be able to do both.  Now go ahead and do it.  Make it today.

Quitting Impression Management

 Today is day 2 of the #PrepareOurHeartsForAdvent Holy Yoga devotional.  See me #crescentlunge forward on my plight on this beautiful #HolyYoga journey.

It is also day 1 of my Bible reading plan on “Addicted To Busy: Recovery For The Rushed Soul” and the title is “Impression Management”.  How apt.

“For everything in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the of pride of life – comes not from the Father but from the world.” ~1 John 2: 16 (NIV)

For my friends who know me well, I have declared November as my ‘Social Sabbatical’.  Some of my friends raise their eyebrows in disbelief, some with concern (as if I’ve gone crazy!), some perplexed, some in mockery and a rare few who have supported and encouraged me with no judgement.  It’s a funny exercise as I understand more about myself and of those truly understand me.  It’s not a judgement of my friends but an assessment of a phenomenon.  Either ways I am thankful to all my friends, laughing or empathising.

So, why this ‘Social Sabbatical’?

  1. Firstly, God knows I need rest and honour this temple [body] that God blesses me with. I talk about this a lot in my HoYo classes but frankly, I don’t practise it enough.
  2. Secondly, as any mum would know, life as a mother of two just gets more demanding with real responsibilities that is beyond just pleasing myself.
  3. Thirdly, the closer I have become to the Word, the more I have realised that I need to invest into living it out.  And that includes carving time out for it.  To read the Bible and spend time with the Lord.  Simple as that.
  4. I wanted to experiment what it would be like to be able to have time to and for myself and if anything disastrous was going to happen if I didn’t fill up my calendar from 8am -8pm.
  5. Lastly, I wanted to ‘prepare my heart for Christmas’; to create mindspace to soak in, muse over and digest the importance of the birthday of our Saviour.

I am now almost two thirds into my Social Sabbatical.  What have I learnt?

  1.  Not all friends appreciate it, nor understand it.  That’s ok..I had to push past people’s judgement and learnt to accept that I am here to please God, not man.
  2. For someone so extroverted as I am, it’s almost impossible to have a true “Social Sabbatical”.  Realistically, just keeping my weekdays free is a good start!  Don’t be too ambitious.
  3. I am a self-diagnosed sufferer of “Impression Management.”  I’ve realised that I have a tendency and habit of making myself busy for the sake of making life appear productive, both to myself and to the world.  If I have to be true to myself, it is Impression Management.  Surely, if my schedule is packed from 8am – 8pm, I’m going to start to sound like Sheryl Sandberg, right?  ….Right?? ..  How I measure my self worth hasn’t really been rooted in Christ.  I have been conforming with the worldly views of modern feminism. It is a confronting issue for me but I am facing it, even as I type now.  I don’t know how I can resolve this issue immediately but I know that this Sabbatical is a good start.
  4. Indeed, no one dies and nothing disastrous happens when I don’t fill up my calendar with a ‘To-do’ in every single minute. In fact, the more I surrender and let God guide my daily tasks, the more effective I become with prioritisation of key tasks.
  5. The Word stays True to itself.  Indeed, the more I invest into it, the more peace and joy I get.  Nothing has been more rewarding than taking the time to meditate, slow down, and focus on Jesus.  When you invest time in a relationship, the relationship flourishes.  It’s funny how God has made us this way and we totally get it when it comes to human relationships yet it’s a hard concept to understand when it comes to a relationship with our King.  Funny, huh?

So far, I can say that the re-investment of finding time to ‘breathe’ and ‘being still’ have been the most rewarding.  I hear God.  I feel the Holy Spirit. I enjoy my prayer time.

“Rather, it should be that of the inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” ~1 Peter 3:4 (NIV)

Today, I will start letting go of my addiction to ‘Impression Management‘.  I need to stop being a slave to ‘busyness’.  It’s ok if I’m a ‘free’ person.  Indeed, I am free in Christ.  Now THIS is truly preparing my heart for advent.

 

You Heard It. Stop Compartmentalising Your Life …

  Possibly one of the hardest challenges for the modern-day 1st world Christian is to stop compartmentalising his/her life. By that, I mean that we live a Christ-like way of life within our comfortable circle of church friends. And the minute we step away from the comfort of those brothers and sisters, we enter into the world without the same boldness that we have amongst our church friends. Why do we do that?

Inherently, I suspect it is our fear of rejection. 

Humans are built to be in community, regardless on where you land on the extro-intro-version scale. Isolation and abandonment is the one of the worst forms punishment. Hence why we fear rejection and isolation. And in this modern, secular world (or city that I) that we live in, being outwardly Christian may mean you risk the abandonment or isolation.  

Personally, I haven’t experienced much ‘abandonment’ per se. That would be a strong word to use. However, have I been faced with awkward situations where my faith has been questioned and I was compelled to stand on the opposing side of a spiritual view with a good friend? Most definitely. 

Did that make me uncomfortable? Absolutely.

Did I fear judgement from my friends who do not follow Jesus, even though I know the only judgement I should fear is God’s? (Especially those who are like, “Comon’, Jo. You? Christian?”) Yup, sometimes I still do. 

Did that make me waver and live a ‘compartmentalised’ life, where I only speak of the Gospel to my family in Christ whom I am comfortable with? Yes. Often. 

Nonetheless, over time that ‘often‘ became a constant nemisis and shame for me . Openly taking up Holy Yoga as ministry work has been a huge step forward for me. As a results of this,I have observed five important phenomenons:

1. With practise comes more strength and steadfastness

By living out Word and Deed in every aspect of your life through God, He powers you with strength. By law of the 10 thousand hour rule; by practising, it gets easier. There is absolutely NO reason to live a compartmentalised life. Do it afraid and with courage from Him. 

“For I am not ashamed of the Gospel because it is by the power of God that brings salvation to those who believe, first to the Jews, then to the Gentiles.” Romans 1:16-17

2. People can’t actually repel Christ-likeness. So, don’t be discouraged to live out Word and Deed.

What I’ve learnt over the years is the Truth of salvation. Jesus’ teachings cannot be faulted. If only I can be more like Him! People love Jesus-like people. People are just attracted to kind, compassionate, loving, patience people.  Folks, why would we be afraid to live out a life that others love and frankly, need?

“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:1-2‬ ‭NIV‬

3. Good friends will appreciate that you practise what you preach. There is no false pretence. 

One of the worst things you can do IS TO COMPARTMENTALISE your life. Either you believe you have been saved by Grace and live it out in joy or you don’t. It is counter productive to be selective in who you rejoice with. Live it out! Spread the Good News! 

“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.” ~‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:3-7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

4. Your non-Christian friends will respect you and come to an acceptance. (so long as you remember that you don’t dial the call from God! They will be called in His time. Don’t annoy your friends by playing God. Just pray for them.)

“You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.” ~ ‭‭Romans‬ ‭2:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

5. When all of the above is established and becomes the norm, there will be a sense of true liberation. Pleasing God is a command and He will protect us on our journey. Stop compartmentalising your Christian life today! Make your every day a ministry life. 

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” ~‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:1‬ ‭ESV‬‬

May this encourage you to seek Him. It’s not an easy road but it is a joyous and deserving one. The gift of salvation is precious. Be thankful. 

Be. Very. Thankful.