I saw this quote on my pinterest feed this morning and it has been invading my thoughts ever since. Thought I would share my musings with you : )
Anne Frank, though hugely famous now, was just a junior high girl writing down thoughts in her diary. Her extenuating life circumstances tend to give her a larger-than-life reputation, instantly infusing everything she said with immense significance. Take this quote, for example. We could spend hours pondering the various philosophical implications that could be found if we truly plumbed the depth of Anne’s insight. Or, as I did this morning, we could take the quote as a simple charge.
My “world” right now is pretty small. Not tiny, but limited. I stay home most of my days and spend my time cleaning, cooking, shopping and just managing the chaos that comes with a husband and two boys (and myself!). My extra time finds me either working at the hospital or helping with the needs at my church. Nothing big and important. But if I step back and view my world not as the things that I do but in light of the people that I interact with, I see the potential for impact expand. When it comes down to it, my world should be about the people in it. My world should not be ruled by the state of my closets, bank account, or car trunk (please, never look in there!!). There are two little boys, a husband, parents, friends and co-workers who come across my path on a daily basis. How am I improving my interactions with them? Biblically stated, how am I following the simple yet immeasurably profound and “un-plumbable” commands, “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. … [and] love your neighbor as yourself.” Following these instructions is the succinct statement “there is no other commandment greater than these.” (Matthew 12:30-31).
So if my world equals the people in it, and God’s command is frighteningly simple (I mean, wouldn’t it be great if we could excuse our lack of obedience on not really understanding what God meant? : ) then a quote like Anne Frank’s serves as a helpful kick in the pants. There is no contemplation, no advance degree, no level of personal achievement (spiritual or otherwise), no perfect emotional state needed in order to follow God’s directive to love others. Hard to do? Maybe. An option? Not if we call ourselves believers.
I’m reminded of blog post by Wendy Alsup. Though speaking generally about being content, she makes an excellent point about where we find the power to obey God’s commands.
“The Greek word “autarkeia” means a condition of life in which no further aid or support is needed, or a condition in life in which you have sufficient supplies for the needs of the moment. …Here it is translated sufficiency.
(2 Corinthians 9:8) And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;
Sufficiency – you have what you need. You have adequate provision, adequate supplies. In a world of people and situations that consistently miss the mark of God’s perfection and all He intended us to be as His image bearers in Eden, you and I have adequate, sufficient supplies for this season. …We have a bridge between our godly longing and our fallen reality that sufficiently equips us to deal with each struggle.
It is the gospel.
The gospel is the bridge. God has done something through the life, death, and resurrection of Christ by which He is able to make “all grace abound to you.” He has done something through Christ that sufficiently equips you so that you are abundantly supplied for every good work He has called you to do.”
So today, as you go about your daily tasks, take the time to really see “your world.” See the people around you as those whom you are called to love through the power of God working within you. How are you going to do this for your children? For your spouse? For your co-workers? Better start thinking of some ways to show genuine, Christ-like love because it is your calling as a believer. You have grace, strength and the encouragement of the Spirit. You are ready, and need not wait for anything, in order to start improving the world around you. So get to it…personally, I’m off to play dress up with a three year old : ).