This morning's post is from CARE for AIDS intern, Anna Wilke.
Over the past couple weeks, I have been reading Bob Goff’s new book “Everybody Always” which is about loving people, even really difficult people, without distinction, insecurity, or restriction and man is it good. One of the chapters that stood out to me the most so far is the chapter called “The Yellow Truck” and it’s what I want to talk about in this week’s blog.
In this chapter Bob tells a story about the pickup truck he bought from his dad after he finished law school. When he bought the truck his dad told him that he would want to change the oil in the truck and it seemed like every time he saw his dad after that his dad told him that he would want to change the oil. Each time his dad mentioned the oil it would bug Bob because he didn’t like being told what to do, and even though Bob knew his dad was right and was only trying to look out for him, he still never changed the oil.
If you’re anything like me, this situation sounds all too familiar. Whether it be from our parents, teachers, friends, or strangers, we don’t like being told what we want, we want the freedom to decide for ourselves what we want. Most of the time these people have our best interest at heart, and what they tell us we want is not mean-spirited, it just doesn’t sit well with us because. This is similar to what happens all too often in our schools, churches, and faith communities, we are told by other people what God wants us to do or not to do. Sometimes we are the people telling other people about the rules and restrictions of their faith. When we are told what we want or what we should or shouldn’t do, what started out as faith can turn into compliance. When we tell each other what we should want, we make ourselves the police of other people’s behavior and the risk with this is that we make approval and correct behavior more important than Jesus’ love, which is the only thing that can save us.
So how do we fix this? Bob says it like this, “Instead of telling people what they want, we need to tell them who they are”. We see God do this in the Bible over and over again, He tells Moses he was a leader and he was, He told Sarah she was a mother and she was, and He told Abraham he would be the father of the nations and he was. God tells us who we are too and He tells us His beautiful, too good to imagine, hopes for us too. Our Father is not as concerned with what we do or say as He is about our hearts. He will not love us more or less based on our actions, in fact through our failures as well as our successes He continues to tell us who we are – we are His. So instead of telling people what they should want, let’s simply remind them they are His too.