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Present and Transform - Application #4
Affection and Preference
I am afraid that what I have been presenting up to this point has not appeared as affection. Maybe you'd call it concern, religiousness, a preference for other people to see things my way. This is not intentional mind you; it seemed right at the time.
What I am finding out now is that presenting myself as a living sacrifice to God that I am called to present myself a living sacrifice to others.
It is easy to think "well I know this about God and they... they're still searching". It is natural to think that "I just need to tell them what I know... they'll agree with it... and we'll just move on".
Honestly though, it is not always about what you know, not always about what you've been through to get to know this, it is more about what you are willing to sacrifice to connect to/to become a part of their personal trials and learning experiences/to become living committed proof of the answer.
Love is sometimes patient encouragement, support during those repetitive and awkward mistakes. It is being there for those embarrassments, for those missed opportunities, that depression and frustration and despair. Rarely is it a flurry of scriptural references and fiery testimony.
The hardest part of sacrifice is the sacrifice.
God's mercy has shown itself to be long suffering, set back after set back after set back we've stumbled and fell. Even as we were not deserving then, even as we covered our ears and closed our hearts, He remained true and faithful to us. And so we must be to them.
Preference - Living Sacrifice
The preference presented by a living sacrifice is on a much closer one on one level. The grandeur of self is diminished to the sometimes undesirable task of changing the bed clothes of the elderly, dressing the foot ulcers of the homeless, adopting an orphaned adolescent refugee.
Jesus taught frequently of this.