My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality. It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves. (I John 3:18)
How many of us are our own best critics? I know I rise to the top of that list! I can get 'down' on myself from time to time - questioning my decisions, troubling over my actions, rethinking my words, and just plain rehashing stuff that isn't all that good for me to rehash. I remember asking mom what 'hash' was one day. She spoke of it as though it was a basic staple 'back in the day', so she tried to describe it. Already cooked meat, cut into small pieces with potatoes added, and then reheated again. Does that sound like anything like us 'rehashing' our life choices? Meat already cooked - decisions already made, some very long ago. Added potatoes - 'filler' substances that only serve to take up space that we add to our 'stories' we tell ourselves about our failures. Reheated to be eaten again - attempting to make 'something new' out of what is clearly something very 'old'. I don't know about you, but 'rehashing' life's failures doesn't sound all that 'appetizing' to me!
We need to 'shut down' all that self-criticism - even when there is something to it - because it is like 're-eating' the same meal over and over again. Getting outside of our thoughts sometimes is a lot harder than we'd like it to be, though. We find it easy to get onto that hamster wheel of 'rehashing' life. Not much good ever comes out of it - we just spin and spin - getting tired and frustrated, looking for a way of escaping the constant spin. Love - real, practical love - begins with putting aside the 'hash' and allowing something new to really be made within us. God's not through with us yet - have you heard that one before? How is it we find ourselves worrying over and over again, all the while forgetting that he knows all that about us already, loves us in spite of it, and has a new path for us to take if we'd only listen and obey?
Talk - walk . . . do they match up? A lot of us talk, but fewer of us actually walk what we talk. If that hits home today, you aren't alone - it hits home with me, too. I can talk about freedom, but am I truly free? I have eaten my fair share of 'life hash' over the course of my lifetime! Lots of filler mixed in with stuff I just 'reheat' in my mind. I think most of us already know there are some things we need to spend a little time with God about. Things we have been 'reheating' for quite some time. I don't know about you, but when it is about the second or third time something gets 'reheated' from my fridge the quality of that 'thing' isn't the same as it was before. It takes on a different taste. Could it be possible the thing we are 'reheating' isn't really all that good for us to ingest any longer? Perhaps the best choice isn't to make 'hash' out of 'old meat' and 'fillers' - maybe the best option is to chuck it, get new ingredients, and start afresh! Just sayin!