Chapter 5 – The Three Greatest Commandments

I cannot get away from the simple three words that continue, not haunt me (although it feels that way sometimes because they are everywhere), but follow me. No matter what I read through scripture, through this book,  through conversation with others, through the message at church. I can’t get away from them.

It. All. Matters.

It’s that simple.

Two things struck me in this chapter. The first was an incredibly long sentence that was even more impactful because it was only one sentence I think. It was actually a quote from N.T. Wright, from his book Surprised by Hope:

Every act of love, gratitude, and kindness; every work of art or music inspired by the love of God and delight in the beauty of his creation; every minute spent teaching a severely handicapped child to read or to walk; every act of care and nurture, of comfort and support, for one’s fellow human beings and for that matter one’s fellow nonhuman creatures; and of course every prayer, all Spirit-led teaching, every deed that spreads the gospel, build up the church, embraces and embodies holiness rather than corruption, and makes the name of Jesus honored in all the world – all of this will find its way, through the resurrecting power of God, into the new creation that God will one day make.

Do you see it? It all matters. And not only does it all matters, but it all matters in a big way, in an eternal way. I kind of like to do things big, in a big way, and can find myself  stressing or being frustrated with myself for not accomplishing that. My friend Caleb once told me, “We can only do what we can do. God will work out the rest.” It has stayed with me since he said it (and this was with him in Haiti and me in Target with a one-year-old son who wouldn’t stop yelling, “Mom! Mooom! MOOOOM!” So the message had to be powerful to get through – ha ha!).

And it keeps getting repeated over and over and over through  various channels and mediums. God can take the small and turn it into big, turn it into forever. It’s kind of humbling to think about. And kind of awesome. We can make a big difference no matter the status of our checkbook, title on the business card, or the name embroidered on our shirt, whether children have let us shower and we look into the mirror at the end of the day and think, “What did I even accomplish today?” – if even one act of kindness, a moment in prayer, anything to love on others and further the gospel happened throughout the hectic, hurried day – you, we, just left our fingerprint on eternity.

Here’s number 2. Pastor Ourng (his picture is above). His then church of 83 people, teaching, trying to gain understanding through only the Bible. Longing for other resources when I have everything I want at my fingertips. Just speaking with a friend this weekend about a book she recommended and I have it on my list. One I can download at a moment’s notice onto my Kindle. I take that for granted. It is something to be cherished.

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5 Comments

Filed under The Hole In Our Gospel

5 responses to “Chapter 5 – The Three Greatest Commandments

  1. Heather

    Thanks Tiffany! It. All. Matters. I love that and need to live it! Years ago I was thanked by a stranger sitting on a bench. He said he had been sitting there for over an hour and I was the first person to pass him and say “hello”. I think the reason that I still remember such a little thing, is because I felt like I had made a little difference for someone that day. A gesture that may be completely insignificant to us, may make someone else smile or feel better in some way. It. All. Matters. May we never forget.

  2. Here here! Prayer keeps me honest with this. If I like someone’s shoes she will make me tell them. Even a stranger. Gotta love the accountability of a 5 year old!

  3. Allison

    I love that thought, as well. That it all matters. It seems as though, through reading this book, I am both motivated to do more, to serve others in new and bigger ways, but at the same time I am reminded that even when I am not doing “bigger and better” its awesome to just be doing. Being kind, thoughtful, generous. Something else that struck me just now as I re-read the chapter was a mention of “making credible the message of a Savior who transforms men and women for eternity.” Every so often you come upon a friend or acquaintance who unfortunately has had a bad experience with church or other Christians and have walked away with a negative feeling about God. Or feeling judged. I feel like this chapter reveals the best way to speak to people who have had those experiences. Maybe without so many words but more with deeds and love. Making disciples.

    • I love your perspective on things. I learn even more just by reading your comments. My natural tendency is to “go big or go home” kind of thing. But yeah, it is awesome just to be doing. And I also agree, with those who have been hurt by people who are Christians, b/c unfortunately we’re people therefore screw up sometimes – less words, more loving with action, I also think is the key.

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