My ‘Agape’ Jalopy

Accepting the reality of our broken, flawed lives is the beginning of spirituality not because the spiritual life will remove our flaws but because we let go of seeking perfection and, instead, seek God, the one who is present in the tangledness of our lives. ”  — Michael Yaconelli

My “Agape” Jalopy

Accepting ourselves is a lifelong process.

We talk of “accepting Christ”, but for many that really is not the problem.  When we talk about Jesus, there is such an attractiveness about him, that makes ‘hard-boiled’ agnostics stand back and grudgingly admire.  But, to accept “me”, well that takes more then just a bit of imagination.  When your depressed or anxious it just escalates the problem.

We just don’t like ourselves.  Sometimes I think that if I met me, I would think, “What a jerk! ”  Having psychiatric issues only intensifies and focalizes my sin into a horrifying mess.  I’m not just a loser, I’m a loser on steroids.  A supreme loser!  I’m certainly not the red Ferrari, I am obviously the rusty Edsel with the balloon tires and a lousy heater.

The remarkable thing though is not my spiritual unattractiveness, but God’s irrational love for me.  The New Testament writers used the word we translate “love” as “agape“.  That Greek word meant a love without any conditions, a selfless love, a love that was passionately committed to the well being of the other.  Actually, it is a love that goes out of the way to care for its enemy.  That’s the audacity of agape.

We do the mental gymnastics to try to grasp the definition.  We strain and contort but it defies comprehension.  We grab, hold it, and then it gets loose and we clutch air.

“This is how much God loved [agape] the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life .”                                

 -John 3:16, MSG

When I tell you, “Jesus loves you”, you will probably smile politely, nod and say “I know,” and turn away.  But, once in awhile, “lightning will strike,” you will look up in stunned amazement, with tears in your eyes, and whisper, “I know”.

…………………………

Spirituality is not about being fixed; it is about God’s being present in the mess of our unfixedness.” — Michael Yaconelli, Messy Spirituality

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About Pastor Bryan Lowe

A repentant rascal with definite issues, but who is seeking to be authentic in his faith to Jesus Christ. An avid reader and a hopeful writer. Husband and father. A pastor and Bible teacher. A brain tumor survivor. Diagnosed with clinical depression, epilepsy, and now disabled. Enjoys life, such as it is, in Alaska.
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4 Responses to My ‘Agape’ Jalopy

  1. Debbie says:

    What an eye opener . . .how it’s easy to love Jesus, but ourselves . . .not so much. That definition of spirituality . . wonderful.
    Thank you, as always!

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  2. I’ve come to the point in my life where the thought of Jesus loving me is always like a lightening strike, it always brings tears – tears of joy and amazement. And any agape love that I am able to show to others is directly from Him through me. What a wonderful Savior! Peace, Linda

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  3. Mary says:

    Yesterday I was thinking about when Jesus healed the guards ear after Peter had cut it off. What kind of love is that?! In the middle of chaos and terror he stopped and healed the ear of one who was taking him to his death. And he must have been thinking of Peter too, to remedy his mistake, so Peter didn’t have to pay for the crime. What a Savior! His love will heal my enemy and show grace over my ugly mess at the same time. Only the Son of God would do such a thing. Now to let the truth of His love sink deep into our bones and marrow, deeper than the mess, that’s what I need.

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  4. That’s right, Bryan. Don’t ask what Jesus would do; ask what Jesus is doing! 🙂
    I’m a twelve year old Volkswagen with an old CD player, with a CD in it, with the Lord’s prayer on it, and it keeps playing, “Thy wll be done – Thy will be done…”
    Thanks for sharing!

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