Loving Through the Risk

greater love

My husband and I have a running joke that when our three-year-old reaches the dating age, he is going to be trouble.

He loves anyone and everyone, but his affection toward the ladies overflows. As Daddy drove him to the hardware store over the weekend, he rolled down the window, blowing kisses to the female in the vehicle next to them.

When they reached their destination, my husband watched in horror as the blushing woman turned in behind them. Fortunately, it turns out kids my boy’s age are more cute than offensive.

His complete confidence that his love would be reciprocated got me wondering, “When do we lose that?” Or when do we start to care if we’re avoided?

It seems as though we reach a certain age and lose our childlike joy in extending uncontained, extravagant love. Is it the first time we’re rejected? Or do we decide it’s inappropriate?

Maybe blowing kisses to everyone we meet would raise a few eyebrows, but I can’t help but think we’d be better off if we kept our childlike boldness when we moved into adulthood. It takes a brave soul to move past worry of being rejected and embrace community.

Every person I see today is not just a face, but a living soul. And yet I so often when I see people, I think more about myself and their opinion of me.

I avoid eye contact with the neighbor at the market and say it’s because my kids are getting restless for dinner. I ignore the nudge to reach out to a new mom because I’m not sure how she’ll respond.

When I consider the lavish love God has poured into my life, I am convicted.

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 1 John 3:1 NIV

Friends, our love for others should be so bold and brave the world does not recognize it. They should look at us like Judas gawked at Mary when she poured perfume worth a year’s wages on Jesus’ feet: with complete disbelief.

Once we are in Christ, we are no longer people of the world. As Amanda Bible Williams of She Reads Truth poignantly puts it, “The Gospel is your context now.”

Our lives should breathe the aroma of Christ crucified in us.

When we see each person as a soul instead of a face, we can move past fear of rejection because we see the bigger picture. We realize the power of the Spirit in us goes far beyond our feeble attempts for acceptance.

Christ’s love in me is greater than fear of rejection toward me.

So the next time I see my three-year-old blowing kisses at a complete stranger, I will follow his lead. I will reach out a hand to the person with the heavy load who needs me.

I will make eye contact with the neighbor who crushed my ego.

I will remember I am not working for my own self-image, but for a crown to lay at my Savior’s feet.

 

*Photo credit (text and enhancement added)

*Linking up with Suzie Eller and Susan B. Mead. Come join us and be inspired.

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21 thoughts on “Loving Through the Risk

  1. Abby,
    My husband and I had an argument this morning before he left for work…through reading your post, I realize how much I make everything about me when everything should be about Him – about how we should love with the love He showed us even if it’s risky and even if we get hurt sometimes. Well timed and poignant post!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

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    • Bev, we all fall into that trap sometimes. I’m so thankful this post was timely for you and I pray that you and your husband will find a common ground in whatever the issue. Lord knows my husband and I have had our fair share! Thanks so much for sharing here today.

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  2. Loved this Abby….The rejection, fear of being shunned–it all overwhelms us as we get older than we sometimes don’t even notice the ‘slow burn’ of shutting others out. Thank you for this post!! 🙂

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    • Angela, it is so good to hear from you! Yes, that fear does overwhelm us at times but God is showing me how to be brave and reach out, even when it’s uncomfortable. Have a great weekend, friend.

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  3. Blowing kisses, my friend. Blowing kisses. Love your encouragement to action. And I think your son must be absolutely adorable! #livefreeThursday

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  4. I saw your introduction over on G+ and couldn’t resist coming by to read! 😉 We have one of those bold, super-lovey little guys, too, lol. Trying to help him understand what is generally considered appropriate without totally squelching the affectionate spirit….

    Your post really made me smile. I love the point you are making — especially how you compared it to Judas: “Friends, our love for others should be so bold and brave the world does not recognize it. They should look at us like Judas gawked at Mary when she poured perfume worth a year’s wages on Jesus’ feet: with complete disbelief.” Love it. 🙂

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    • Sheila, I’m so glad you stopped by. Yes, it certainly is a balancing act, isn’t it? We don’t want to squelch their spirit but we want to show them how to be considerate of others. Thank you for sharing and have a wonderful weekend.

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  5. Oh Abby. My heart was convicted when you said, “And yet so often when I see people, I think more about myself and their opinion of me.” Thank you for your words here and for challenging us to move past the fear of rejection and embrace each other with the love of Christ.

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  6. Yes and yes to your last sentence: “I will remember I am not working for my own self-image, but for a crown to lay at my Savior’s feet.” I also sometimes shy away from reaching out to someone when I feel that nudge because I’m not sure how they’ll respond. What a lesson we can learn from children. (My son was the same way and is still a ladies man, I have to keep that boy on a tight leash! 🙂 )

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    • Yes, I will definitely have to keep Gabe on a tight leash when he gets older too, Betsy. 😉 He is so full of life, though, he makes me smile all the time. Thanks for sharing here today and have a great weekend.

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  7. I ADORE everything about this post! Too often as humans we care too much about what others think than just being our fun, God given, child-like selves! I will be remembering this! There is something about being fun and childlike and full of joy! Walking with God we should feel like that, who cares if we get a few odd looks! Thank you.

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    • Thanks so much for your encouragement! Yes, I sometimes tell my husband that I think one of the reasons God gave us our youngest child was to make us laugh more. He’s so full of life. Thanks for visiting today.

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  8. Abby, wonderful post! Truths which blessed me today > “Every person I see today is not just a face, but a living soul.” and “Friends, our love for others should be so bold and brave the world does not recognize it.” I want to love boldly & bravely! Thank you for this today!

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    • Thank you for visiting, Joanne! This is something God’s been laying on my heart lately and I’m certainly still a work in progress. 😉 Have a great weekend.

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  9. Children are amazing aren’t they? Our five year old daughter has to speak to everyone that even looks her direction. When she was smaller she liked to hug anyone and everyone who paid her attention. I had to curb that habit because it made me nervous and now we only hug people with mommy and daddy’s permission but she amazes me how she has the confidence to just strike up a conversation with people and believe that they really care what she has to say. I often find myself apologizing to people for her “bothering” them in doctor’s offices, grocery lines, etc. and one day an older gentleman admonished me for apologizing. He basically told me that by me going behind her and apologizing she was going to start thinking that she was doing something wrong when in fact she was spreading joy to others. He told me that she’d brightened up his whole day by how caring and polite she was. And now she often times tells people who are sick that God will heal them and that Jesus loves them without me prompting her. I am trying to learn from her to be more confident and witness to more people. (I have severe social anxiety). Children can teach us a lot about how to treat others and how to spread God’s love! I hope your son continues to blow kisses as long as he can! 🙂

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  10. I loved the excellent points you brought to light Abby. The innocence of a child, the self-centered fear of an adult and the difference Christ makes in learning to receive and give God’s love. Rejection is only an opportunity to reach for Christ’s perfect courage and accept the shortcomings of others. Like you I’m trying to look at others as a creation from God and take notice of His work. I too am a work in progress and there is always room for me to improve on living more Christ-like.

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