This morning the thought hit me that many of my “light bulb” moments involve extremely counter cultural ideas. Most often they are ideas that come from a divine source, because I don’t always see the ideas true in my life and character. The ideas spark a curiosity in my mind and I desire to dig deep enough to discover more than just the light bulb. I want to find the source of electricity that powers the light bulb in my soul and mind!
So, the thought this morning that has intrigued the mystery seeker in me is this….Our families, job environments, neighborhoods, churches, schools, cities, states, and countries would have massive transformation if we learned to elevate others through love. Think about it for just a minute. Here, in America, elevation occurs through achievements, striving, working hard, and success. None of those having anything to do with love. In schools, kids are elevated because of grades, performance, competition, and success. In corporations, people are elevated because of numbers, metrics, excelling, striving, investing, and sacrifice. In our neighborhoods, folks are elevated because of possessions, cars, sizes of tvs, money, vacations, and status.
What if we flipped the world and imagined what it would look like if we made a choice to elevate people through love? Let’s try this on and see how it feels. Imagine a child comes home from school with a failing grade. We can see the disappointment, discouragement, and fear on their face. Imagine that we take that child to a quiet place in the house and we tell them how much we love them. We explain to them that there is nothing they can ever say or do that will make us love them more or less. We love them because of who they are on the inside and it has nothing to do with performance, grades, competition, or achievements. They could fail every class for the rest of their educational career and we would still love them. The child would have experienced an elevation of sorts, at least their spirits were elevated and possibly their self-worth and self-esteem.
Imagine a neighbor, with significant status, falls on hard times. Their marriage is really rocky and one of them has just lost a job and their family is really feeling the pressure. The rest of the neighborhood isolated from them, as if their hard times are somehow contagious. Imagine you choose to find ways to elevate them through love. You offer to take their kids after school one day so they can search for jobs or go on interviews. Your family chooses to mow their lawn for them and take them dinner. You find ways to elevate them through love that has nothing to do with their financial status, their possessions, or their success. The family would feel strangely elevated during a very difficult time and they might even begin to feel hope for a better tomorrow because of the selfless love you have shown them.
I can imagine the ways this kind of thinking could revolutionize the world around me in big and small ways. It would require a few things of me. It would require me to desire the best for others and be focused on the good of those around me. It would require me to be intentional about building people up and helping others. It would require me to develop a heart that desires to make a difference and to serve others. I would like to live the kind of life where others feel loved and elevated after spending time with me rather than unloved and crushed.
Given my opening statement, I recognize this not as my idea, but an idea that God desires to stir in me. I also can very easily see that I can not live this way and relate this way without the very source of power that provided me the “light bulb” moment in the first place. These thoughts and actions I am suggesting are not only counter cultural, they are counter humanity in every way! We, as humans, are designed to survive. Often times that means we live and relate in a way that puts others down, that pushes our way to the front and to the top, and that desires the failure of others because it often means our success.
I trust God’s character enough to know that He will not stir a thought like this and not back it up with plenty of learning opportunities! So, I look forward to this week searching for those divine lesson plans that will bring this idea to life around me and I hope you will too!