Not guilt or obedience, but love

I had lunch with a former colleague today. Well, she was my boss. But I had a hard time thinking of her that way. We did not get along. I didn’t respect her and she didn’t trust me. We tried, but there was always tension. Well, she tried. I would have none of it. But I was a Christian and should have known better. My behavior was downright embarrassing. When I left the company (almost 6 years ago now!) to be home with my first born, things didn’t happen the way I had hoped (I wanted to keep working part-time) and when they didn’t, I was angry and hurt. Frankly, I blamed her. Eventually, I worked through most of that, knowing that God worked it out to keep my attention at home, where it needed to be. Clearly, I couldn’t make that decision on my own, so He made it for me. Anyway, my co-worker was laid off in August with a few others. It was truly unfortunate. But, I have to admit, I rejoiced a little bit. So, I knew I hadn’t completely healed. I ignored the feeling.

This week, amidst the perfect spiritual transformation trifecta: reading the book Crazy Love, the study of John in BSF, and a study on abiding in Christ with my church small group, I sent her a message and requested to make plans to take her out to lunch … without even fully understanding what I was doing. What have I done?!? I don’t really want to do that. But the strange thing is, I did. There was no fear or dread for the lunch, which there normally would be for me with any of my previous co-workers. And we had a great time. It really was a delight to see her and just talk. The time went by fast. I would have stayed longer, too, if it weren’t for my squirrely kids who tagged along.

It wasn’t until I had told my husband about our plans and he asked if I was doing it out of guilt that I realized I completely and totally wasn’t (unlike Tuesday when I struggled with guilt over giving a homeless man a cookie). I was driven by obedience, not the “okay, I’ll do it but I don’t want to” kind but the “I’ll do whatever you ask me to do without even thinking twice about it” kind of obedience. Actually, maybe that’s not even it. I was driven by love.

Wow. Maybe that’s not profound to you. But, for me, it is. Right here, right now, I’m in awe of God’s amazing ability to transform my perspective. Just. Like. That. I’m not only saying “it’s not all about me,” I’m experiencing it. I didn’t know there was a difference. But there is. And it’s a wonderfully peaceful feeling.

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13

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