Wednesday, November 6, 2013

                      Do versus Don't Do

It has been happening almost every morning. I have been waking up at four a.m. with thoughts. I hop out of bed and run to the computer to write them down. I don't go to bed with these  thoughts . . . they come to me, I am awakened, I hop out of bed and run.

"Where are you going?" Scotty asks.

"I have to write!" 

Before I fell asleep last night, I had decided I wouldn't  write here today. 

But here I am, four a.m., Compelled!

This morning I woke with the scene of Peter and Jesus in my head. Not the scene that I talked about the other day, the one where Jesus told Peter that he was going to mess up . . . BIG time!  Not that one, but the scene where they are seaside after Peters big spiritual crash. Jesus asked Peter 3 questions that all began with, "Peter, do you love me?" 

Do you remember that beautiful scene?

It struck me this morning that Jesus didn't respond  to Peter with a "if you Do love me, then Don't" answer.

"Yes, I Do love You!"  Peter answers three times.

All three times Jesus responds with . . .

"If you love Me, DO this."

I have been reading some red letters in my Bible every day. Red letters are the words that Jesus spoke. I just want to hear what He has to say about things. It is not my only stop every morning, but it is the first place I read. 

I will be searching  . . . 

does Jesus have more "dos" than "don'ts" in all those red words?

One thing He did say, "The most important commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all of your mind. The second is like it, love your neighbor as yourself."

The two most important commands are "Do" commands.

They sound so much like His response to Peter.

"Peter, do you love me?"

"Yes, Master . . . " 

"Then do this . . . LOVE my sheep . . . "

Is it possible that if we were doing what we should be, there wouldn't be time to do those things that we shouldn't be doing?

What if we were so busy being kind that there wasn't any time to be unkind?

 Is this getting to you? It is getting to me.

Yesterday, my very sweet, beautiful cousin Tiffany was heading through the drive through at Starbucks. A kind lady motioned for Tiffany to move in line ahead of her. Because the lady was so kind, Tiffany decided to buy the lady a coffee. (If you are a friend on fb you might have read this on my page yesterday.)When Tiff gets to the drive up window, the barista tells her that her coffee has been paid for. Tiffany tells him that is quite funny . . . that her plan had been to pay for the coffee of the sweet lady behind her. "That makes you number 14. Fourteen people have paid for the coffee of the one behind them." "Paying it backward," Tiffany called it. 

Early morning people being kind. People who are in a hurry to get to work, people who haven't even had their coffee yet, being thoughtful. hmmmm

People doing love.

There are "don't" things . . . things we should never do. Not ruling them out, but perhaps our focus shouldn't be on them so much. What do you think the world be like if our focus was on what we could do instead of what we should not do?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

"So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon, Peter, 'Simon, son of  Jonah, do you love Me more than these?' He said to Him, 'Yes, Lord, You know that I love You.' He said to him, 'Feed My lambs.' He said to him again, 'Simon, son of  Jonah, do you love Me?' He said to him, 'Yes, Lord, you know that I love You.' He said to him, 'Tend My sheep.' He said to him a third time, 'Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?' Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, 'Do you love Me?' And he said to Him, 'Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.' Jesus said to him, 'Feed My sheep.' John 21:15-17NKJV


Joyful said...

Cheri, this has reminded me of a sermon my Pastor gave years ago. He was speaking on the Ten Commandments. He suggested we read them all wrong. We read them as such negative "don't do" statements. He encouraged us to look at them in a new light. We are to see them as beautiful things we "shall not" do or have any desire to do because of our great love for the the Lord.

Because you love Me, you shall not have any other gods before Me. Because you love Me, you shall not make for yourself a craved image. Because you love Me, you shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain. Do you see the difference I'm trying to express? Being God's child these become treasured responses, not rules. These are things we will naturally not want to do. They overflow from our relationship. God says, you love Me and these are a list of things that overflow and are benefits that accompany that love. You shall not do these things if you love Me.

It's early. I hope I have expressed that clearly enough.'s clear in my head.

Love you,

Cheri Bunch said...

Yes, I get it, Joy. Well said, as always. Thank you so much for sharing.

Oh, the power of perspective!

I appreciate your thoughts and your heart!

Love you,