Eat Some KALE or Dip In The LAKE
How does it look for you to take a dip in the LAKE? What is it you regularly need to remind yourself of who you are?
Obviously, there are direct reminders all over Scripture. Perhaps you need to sit with it more, in meditation or memorization. Maybe getting alone for prayer, distraction-free every day. Maybe you need to get outside everyday and soak in God’s beauty. Maybe to hear and share stories with others of how God is at work in lives. It will look a little different for all of us, I’m sure. It’s so vital to keep coming back to who we are in Christ, to how God sees us. Sitting each day for a few minutes focused on how God sees you could be a game-changer for you.
Science is telling us more and more about this. That our identities come from who we love and who we feel love from. That is what shapes us most, not principles. Rarely does someone live as passionately about a principle as they do a person. So much of this goes back to appreciation. A friend the other day expressed some deep, heartfelt, and specific appreciation for me. And I felt on top of the world, validated. Simultaneously loved, known, accepted, and embraced. It’s that stuff that keeps us going and therefore is so important for us to encourage one another with to keep us going on the right path. It’s tough to keep going if you don’t feel appreciated. And since people will no doubt let us down, make sure you ultimately perform for an audience of One.
So I’m seeing more and more clearly how we need to live out of the Divine Embrace not just mandates. Very few people just start changing their thinking and making different choices without being touched by Love.
Here’s some interesting thoughts to chew on from Joy Starts Here, from people who have studied this stuff for over a couple decades now:
“Much of what we read about the brain is an updated version of what the Western church has been overusing for the last 400 years. The solution of Western culture the last 400 years is that we should make better choices by thinking better thoughts. The brain is used for thinking and choices so this seems totally logical and has instant appeal. The new literature on the brain has picked up the observation that emotions are fundamental to the brain and body. The brain requires emotions for processing experiences properly so many new books add emotions as the new ingredient to the old solution of thinking better thoughts and making better choices. The new load for our thinking and choices is that if we choose our thoughts carefully, we will control the emotions that run our brain and body system. Thoughts and choices become the solution to controlling emotions…
” While this sounds good and our choices do affect us, our identities are not formed by choices but by the bonds we experience. Who we share mutual mind states with and who we love will shape our choices more than the other way around. Attachments are at the center of our identities. It is very hard to make changes by simply thinking and choosing differently. Try to change the character of how young adults eat by telling them to think more about nutrition and make better choices. But watch what happens when they begin to love and attach to someone and we will see thoughts, feelings, and choices changing in a hurry. Think of anyone who fell in love and how they change schools, politics, friends, and are suddenly interested in Japanese art!
“The brain is much more concerned about who we love than what we think. Emotions and attachments rapidly change our reality…The attachment system in the emotional right hemisphere of the brain has the direct control of our identities and emotions and it is only indirectly influenced by thoughts and choices…
“While there is every reason to think good thoughts and make good choices, these are not the secret to developing mature Godly character. Training our brain’s relational identity center to live in joy and shalom works directly while thoughts and choices can only work indirectly and inefficiently to transform identities.”
Oh the immense brilliance of Jesus stating that the greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength….for all of life flows from that center.
In the Name of Jesus,
Soli Deo Gloria