God Running is a place for anyone who wants to (or even anyone who wants to want to) love Jesus more deeply, follow Jesus more closely, and love people the way Jesus wants us to.
After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he revealed himself in this way. Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. –John 21:1-2
Make the Chili
I happened upon this short article yesterday and I’m believing it wasn’t by accident that I read it, given what I’m about to write today:
“A good friend of mine unexpectedly lost her husband. A couple months later we were were running together, chatting about nothing. She asked what my dinner plans were and I told her, hubby wanted chili, but I didn’t feel like stopping at the store. We ran a few more minutes when she quietly said, ‘Make the chili.’
“It took me a few minutes to realize we were no longer talking about dinner. It was about going out of your way to do something for someone you love because at any moment, they could unexpectedly be taken from you.
“So today I’m sharing with you that wisdom handed to me by my dear friend, that I’ve thought of many times since that day. Next time someone you love wants you to go for a walk or watch a football game or play a board game or just put your phone down and give them your undivided attention, just do it.
“Make the chili.
“Love deeply and selflessly.” (u/papachilli)
The Dark Side of Passion
What’s been on my mind lately is my wife Kathy. You see, my personality makes me somewhat of a laser beam. If I become passionate about an idea I can easily become consumed, even manic about it. And I can remain in that state for a long time. That can be a good thing if I find myself in leadership at the fire department, or if I’m building a house, or if I’m writing a book. But there’s a dark side to this personality trait. Relationships can suffer when I obsess on what I believe to be an important mission.
So for the last nine or ten years the mission has been loving people like Jesus, and following Jesus’ commands. And one of those commands is to make disciples. (Matthew 28:19-20)
And I’ve been trying to follow that command. And my focus has been on making the men in my life disciples of Jesus. The best way to make a disciple, I’ve learned, is to love that person really well, and to be involved and engaged in that person’s life so he can see Jesus’ Spirit in my life. This is how Jesus made disciples. He lived with the twelve for more than three years. He loved them exceedingly well. And he modeled God’s love always. (Of course I am not the Christ, so practically, what this usually looks like is two men trying to help each other to become more like Jesus and to follow him more closely — to become a better disciple of Jesus.)
But here’s where I’ve erred. I’ve seen this mission as so important that I’ve neglected to disciple the one person in my life God would have me put as my first priority. The most important person I should influence for Christ is my wife. And the beginning point for doing that, the foundation for doing that, is to love her really well.
In other words,
I need to “make the chili.”
Better Men Than I Am
I need to make the chili. I need to go out of my way to do the thing for the someone God joined me together with. However, I’m confessing to you right now, I often fail at this. I need Jesus to reveal himself to me in a way that changes who I am as a husband. That’s my problem.
Thank God, we find a solution here in our text.
We see the solution when we notice when Jesus reveals himself. Jesus reveals himself to the disciples when they’re together. Simon Peter, Thomas (who believed when Jesus showed him his wounds), Nathanael, the sons of Zebedee (James and John), and two other disciples — they were together.
These disciples, were: together.
And that’s what I need to do. And that’s what I’ve been doing. Yesterday I played tennis with a man who follows Jesus better than I do. Tennis is fun but I didn’t really care about the tennis so much. What I cared about was being around a man who will make me think about loving my wife the way Jesus loves my wife.
I also spoke on the phone with a friend who is the most Christlike person I’ve ever met. And, in so many words, I asked him how I can love my wife more like Jesus loves my wife.
Saturday morning I’m golfing with a Jesus follower who’s a better husband than I am. (I’m the world’s worst golfer. Don’t do it often but I’m sure you already know, it’s not about the golf.) This friend and I talk about our marriage relationships sometimes and I always learn from him how I can love Kathy the way Jesus wants me to.
You might remember the raised garden beds I built Kathy several months ago. It was these men who inspired me to build them. When I spend time with them I’m inspired to do things and say things I wouldn’t otherwise do. And I become better at loving Kathy.
In our story about the two friends running together, “chatting about nothing,” I wonder what dinner would have been like that night if they hadn’t taken the time to go on that run: together. I’m guessing there would be no chili. And maybe that person’s entire marriage relationship would have been much less than it has been over the years.
I’ve written about this before but it’s so important, I probably don’t write about it enough. You become who you spend time with.
So find men who love Jesus with everything they have, and who love people the way Jesus says we are to love people, (and who love their wives the way Jesus wants us to), and become involved and engaged in those men’s lives. So you see Jesus’ Spirit in those men and so you can receive more of Jesus’ Spirit yourself.
Be like Jesus’ disciples.
And Jesus will reveal himself in a way that makes you more like Jesus.
u/papachilli, Make the chilli, Reddit r/MadeMeSmile, 9/24/2020
Newly released book by Kurt Bennett, now available on Amazon!
Love Like Jesus: How Jesus Loved People (and how you can love like Jesus)
Love Like Jesus begins with the story of how after a life of regular church attendance and Bible study, Bennett was challenged by a pastor to study Jesus. That led to an obsessive seven year deep dive. After pouring over Jesus’ every interaction with another human being, he realized he was doing a much better job of studying Jesus’ words than he was following Jesus’ words and example. The honest and fearless revelations of Bennett’s own moral failures affirm he wrote this book for himself as much as for others.
Love Like Jesus examines a variety of stories, examples, and research, including:
- Specific examples of how Jesus communicated God’s love to others.
- How Jesus demonstrated all five of Gary Chapman’s love languages (and how you can too).
- The story of how Billy Graham extended Christ’s extraordinary love and grace toward a man who misrepresented Jesus to millions.
- How to respond to critics the way Jesus did.
- How to love unlovable people the way Jesus did.
- How to survive a life of loving like Jesus (or how not to become a Christian doormat).
- How Jesus didn’t love everyone the same (and why you shouldn’t either).
- How Jesus guarded his heart by taking care of himself–he even napped–and why you should do the same.
- How Jesus loved his betrayer Judas, even to the very end.
With genuine unfiltered honesty, Love Like Jesus, shows you how to live a life according to God’s definition of success: A life of loving God well, and loving the people around you well too.
A life of loving like Jesus.