For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to think, speak, and live with a kind of "spaciousness" to my life. I've tried different words to describe the quality I love and long for: "Gracious" and "Noble" and "Generous" are some words I use.
When I hear people constantly criticizing and finding fault, and good is never good enough, it makes me sad. When someone makes sure every story they tell makes them look good and points to their successes or achievements, it makes me think, "There she goes again!" When people who have so much are discontented with what they have, and jealous or envious of others who have more... Well, you get what I mean!
But when I find these attitudes in me, or hear these things coming from my own mouth, I get angry! I know better! I don't want to live my life with pettiness and smallness!
I've got good news today! There's hope of escaping the smallness and living the spacious life. When I live out of what Paul calls the 'old nature' or 'the flesh', my thinking, my talking, and my living all stay small and petty. But when I live out of my true self, what Paul calls 'the spirit' or 'the new man', my life becomes wide-open and spacious, and my thinking, talking, and living are more noble and gracious!
I don't always live there--in that spaciousness, but I'm there more often and for longer periods of time. If you have the same desire to escape the smallness and embrace the spacious life, be encouraged! And don't ever settle for the fenced-in smallness of "old nature" living! Friends, let's live spacious, wide-open lives!
Father, Your love and acceptance are freeing me to change. I don't have to defend or justify myself, or try to make myself look better by making others look worse. Thanks for the progress, but please don't let me stop here! And please help my friends who read this and feel the longing toward the wide-open spacious life take another step out into the sunlight of your love and grace. Amen.
This Wide-Open Life
Reading: 2 Corinthians 6; Psalm 18
11 Dear, dear Corinthians, I can't tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. 12 We didn't fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren't small, but you're living them in a small way. 13 I'm speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively! (2 Corinthians 6:11-13 MSG)
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