June 09, 2011







These are all things that should describe my life.  That do describe my life to one extent or another, but not the way they should. 

I've been ingesting a lot of non-fiction lately.  Most in the form of audio books so I'm not sure it could be considered "reading".  Not really self help, but not exactly Bible study commentaries either.  Books about spiritual topics, no doubt, but more of a "How to live well" theme based heavily in Biblical principle. 

My currently title of choice is Crazy Love by Francis Chan.  Its along similar lines of Radical by David Platt.  The bottom line is that the church in America has gone off course.  We - the church - don't understand what it means to be followers of Christ.

When asked for a bare bones gospel - Jesus was able to reduce it all to 2 sentences:

1) Love God.
2) Love your neighbor.

Where in that does it say "love yourself?"  Why are we, as a culture, so caught up in ourselves?  I'm not saying we should insult or hate ourselves.  No where in scripture does Jesus put Himself down or encourage others to do likewise. 

I'm just starting to realize that maybe starting with trying to love ourselves isn't the best tactic.  I know that's not a popular idea in the age of everyone borrowing the airlines "put on your own masked before helping others" line.  Somehow we made the analogy that that pricey nail polish = oxygen for our souls.

For those who don't believe, loving God isn't exactly applicable.  (Although one of the points Chan makes is that God appreciates those who don't pretend to believe far more than those of us who give Him lip service but don't follow through with our actions.) 

Loving our neighbor, however, is universal. 

Do you think Mother Teresa had "fat" days?  Do you think she looked in the mirror and did daily affirmations so that the size of her thighs didn't bother her?

What about Florence Nightingale?  How often do you think she worried about getting a mani/pedi?  Or struggled to fit into her skinny jeans?

Or if Lottie Moon ever broke down macronutrients

Sure those are ridiculous examples.  Because we, as a nation/generation are ridiculous.  Sure Ms. Moon weighed 50 pounds as an adult woman, but not because of any diet plan.  Unable to bear the suffering of others, she gave away her money/rations so that others might be have the nutrition they needed.

How great would I feel about myself if at the end of the day I know I've given all I've had to help others?  Wouldn't my pant size start to matter less and less, as I poured myself into the lives of others, making sure to meet their needs? 

In light of a world full of starving people my "McDonalds vs Brown Bag" debate seems trivial.   Sinful even. 

People are dying every day.  The battles of eating disorders and suicide plague our nation while starvation and poverty over take others.    All are tragic.  All are unacceptable.

I don't have the power to change the world, but I can change someone's world.

But first, I have to stop this obession that causes me to focus on myself.

Lord forgive me!  Turn my focus from myself and toward you.  Help me to love you with the depths of my heart and to share that love with those around me hurting.  Amen.


  1. Wow...hard core stuff here, Brooke! And I think it's a lesson that we all struggle with - putting others ahead of ourselves. It's hard, especially in a "me" culture that encourages us to be narcissistic.

  2. Good reflections here! The more we turn our eyes upward and outward, the less we seem to fuss over ourselves. I think self-love grows out of that outward and upward focus.

  3. Great post for "food for thought". I think if we would all learn to live this way we would all be happier, but it is indeed easier said than done!

  4. Good stuff...thought provoking. I shared the link on my facebook.

  5. awesome words, girl. definitely good things to be thinking about!

  6. I have been plagued with these same convictions. We have it so good here that we worry, fight about, and spend money on the stupidest things. Truly, we are a society riddled with "rich people" problems, issues that just don't even exist in most parts of the world.

    My prayer has become, too, that I would focus on others before myself and that our churches would rediscover what the New Testament really means when it talks about how the Church ~ the Body of Christ ~ should live.

    Love this.

  7. Good stuff, Brooke! I keep intending on picking up both of those books, but so far I haven't read either one. I think we could change the world if we simply loved God as we should ~ every positive outcome imaginable would come from that. Ya know? And I'm sure our jean size wouldn't matter at all.

  8. That whole "me me me" mentality has really been apparent to me lately. I'm doing Beth Moore's study on Daniel with my Church Ladies (I call them that because it makes them sound 85 instead of in their 20s, ha!) and a big portion of the first half is about how to live in Babylon. It's really changed how I see the world around me.

    (as did reading Radical. Crazy Love is on the stack, but I haven't started it yet!)

  9. I certainly need to be more selfless. Good post. I've been wanting to read Crazy Love!

  10. Wow. What a deep post. And really well written. Way to go Brooke! :)


what up yo?