Grace to Fake It

I was called a liar yesterday. In jest while proofing my email, my colleague accused me of not being honest by expressing appreciation for a phone call that they understood I wasn’t really thrilled about having received. They were right, sort of.

My reply, “It’s called grace.” Amy Cuddy would call it “faking it till you become it.” (From her book Presence)

Let’s be honest. We don’t always have grace, mercy, love, forgiveness, trust-all the things we want to have, to be, to give. It’s that fruit of the Spirit list (Galatians 5:22-23) that we strive for, that we judge ourselves by, that we possibly believe just isn’t attainable.

Although Cuddy wasn’t making a spiritual statement with her suggestion, I’m suggesting we can adopt it when it comes to producing spiritual fruit. Following the Spirit’s lead, we can give grace, even if it feels less than 100%. We can forgive, even if it isn’t 100% pure…yet. Does that mean we are lying? I’d say it means we are “walking more in the Spirit than in the flesh” (back up to verse 16 in Galatians 5).

We have to start somewhere. Maybe what we all need is grace-grace to allow ourselves to fake (submit to it when it isn’t 100% what we feel) the fruit until we become it. Sorta like when your parents made you say you were sorry and you loved your sibling as part of their discipline tactics. 100%?

P.S. The reply email I received produced better results from faking it than not.

Fruity Fridays: Love is Dirty

by Jeremy Nixon (A nobody fireman trying to do it right, but mostly getting it wrong)

What is Love? 

Everyone has a picture of love in their head. Love is so many different things to so many different people. It kind of depends on where you’re at in life as to what love looks like to you. I think that we view love differently. To some it’s attainable, to some it’s something one can feel, touch, see or grab a hold of. Still to others it’s something that they feel is unattainable. 

What does love look like?

To some love looks like going to KFC after they’ve gotten your order wrong and biting your tongue and being very nice. Sometimes love looks like a spouse needing a back and neck rub. Sometimes love looks like giving some money to a homeless person. 

God has painted pictures of love throughout the Bible. Story after story show us God’s love. It doesn’t always look peachy (pun intended) all the time. Remember Job? 

1 John 4:16 says “God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.” 

Jesus came down to earth to show us what love is and how to love. God says to love Him. He also calls us to love our neighbor. When Jesus came to earth he had many neighbors and he loved on people everywhere he went. He painted us a picture of how we should love. 

Jesus’ love is unconditional. It always has been and it always will be. Paul describes love in 1 Corinthians 13 like this: Love is patient, love is kind. Love is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

Jesus had passion every step he took, every story he turned around and every conversation that he had. I can’t help but think this is what we are called to do as His children.  

Jesus showed us how to love all the way to the cross. He was free of sin yet he took a beating for you and me. He strapped that cross on his back and walked through the city dragging that cross on his back, and then he stretched out his arms so they could nail his hands and feet to that cross to take on my sin and your sin. That is love. 

John wrote it down like this: “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

Are you ready for that? I’ll tell you what I think love is – it’s dirty. It’s going against every grain and doing things that no one else is willing to do. It’s being willing to lay down your life for someone else. 

Fruit is grown outside. It endures rain and sunshine, high wind and extreme heat. But when it’s full grown, it’s the sweetest thing you have ever had. Jesus calls us to go and tell. Go get dirty, love God, love people and let God be honored by you in your life. Enjoy the sweet, sweet fruit.