Ever notice how there's a sense of freedom with children who are unapologetically themselves? They come downstairs wearing polka dots, plaid, stripes, and a tiara dressed for success. They are proud, confident, and ready for the day. They seem to possess this comfort with who they are - they like who they are and they just are who they are. Somewhere along the way, we seem to lose that. We begin to hear the critical condemning voices of the wounded world, go into hiding within ourselves, and begin to live out of obligation to meet other people's expectations.
Here at The Chase is Real, we are entering Week 2 of our current series, Back to School, where we remember the lessons of life that we learned way back in kindergarten, and apply them to our lives as adults. This week we are taking the ever important lesson of "Don't forget to flush" that we all learned, but we will be applying the lesson of flushing to those condemning voices we hear. We are flushing the "should." Pay attention to how often you use the word "should." By definition, should is critical and implies obligation. This does not coincide with the God that we serve, who is all about free will and choice. If should is an obligation, then could is a choice. So notice when you "should yourself " and then rethink the statement with the word could instead of should. Observe the difference, and maybe even jot down some feelings that you experience with this exercise.
This week's verse is such a reminder of the power of words and choice. Everything about Jesus is always about choice. He continually chose to follow, trust, and connect with God. He freely received and freely gave love. We, too, have that same opportunity every moment of every day. Use this verse and this week's song to remind yourself of that. As you participate in the challenge of taking notice of the word should in your vocabulary, remember to give yourself love. It's really just about awareness of how often we make our lives about obligation and expectation instead of choice. God wants us to choose to receive and give freely. Notice the power of that simple choice in your life and the freedom it can bring.