How to Glow through Friendships

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"I'm putting you on a light stand. Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16 (The Message)

I've been thinking a lot about my journey from North Carolina here. It included some isolation as well as hope during transition. All my experiences made me mature in my calling for this season in life. Sure I'm busy, but I am a firm believer that the God who gently guides mothers with young has not made exceptions when it comes to letting my light shine (see Matthew 5:13-16). There are unique ways to letting your light shine when you are in a busy season of life. During my undergrad and grad school years, a godly character was a sure way to let my light shine. As a married/working woman I added to that, Prison Ministry. Once the kids were born 15 months apart, my time commitment decreased a whole lot. It did not mean that my light had to be put under a bowl (see Matthew 5:15), I just had to find creative ways to Glow. For example, starting a babysitting co-op with friends was a way to Glow. Visiting friends during the week is another way to Glow. By giving people my time and my attention I'm telling them "I care about you, I want to know you better and I want to encourage you in your life journey."
Glowing is not easy or costless. It takes effort and commitment to get out of the I'm busy Mindset. Some healing might be involved here as well. When I was so hurt by friendships (some of that hurt happened when I was 14 years-old) I decided to close myself and not make myself open and available. I could not be generous with my life because I was trying to protect myself. Once I received freedom from those hurts of the past, I was able to open up to others and developed deeper friendships. I like The Message translation of Matthew 5:16 because it tells me that when I open up to others, I'll prompt people to open up with God who is so generous. See, it's not about that childhood idea of friendship I carried for so many years where "I'm your friend and you are mine and forget the rest of the world." It's about letting the great things God put inside of me to make an impact in the life of others. Once that happens, God has yet another avenue in the lives of people. 

Are you Hurt? I've been too. Is your heart locked up like a jail cell? Oh, I experienced that too. Considering the freedom I now enjoy, I prefer this Life of Glowing.
What's keeping you from being more generous with your life?