Week One // For the Love

Welcome - Fall 2015 Study // For the Love by Jen Hatmaker - Online book study hosted by www.imperfectvessel.com

Reading assignment: Introduction

Meeting new people is always an adventure.  The room is crowded, not only with bodies but with laughter, awkward silences and seemingly endless small talk.  As you enter you thank your lucky stars that you applied deodorant before you came because every sense is instantly heightened.

What follows, you hope is painless, but you know the drill.  Say hello, ask a name, where they’re from and what do they do.  It’s par for the course, so you already have your own answers poised on your tongue.

But what if the conversation began with the question, “What did God create you to do?”  Would you have an answer ready?

I think that question would cause me to choke on my prescribed speech and I might sputter something that a Sunday School teacher told me years ago out fear that my answer would be wrong.

And that’s the thing, there’s no wrong answer because we were all created to do different things.  We’re all on a unique mission, purposed by God.  So why do we immediately jump to the conclusion that we’ll somehow mess it up?

The answer to that lies in a novel that I don’t have the time to write. So in the meantime I’ll share a very humbling quote by Jen Hatmaker from For the Love

“When Jesus said to ‘love your neighbor as yourself,’ I don’t think He meant judgmentally; but that is exactly how we treat our own souls, so it bleeds out to others.  Folks who thrive in God’s grace give grace easily, but the self-critical person becomes others-critical.  We ‘love’ people the way we “love’ ourselves, and if we are not good enough, then no one is.” {For the Love}

Uh, hello Truth!  This is one of the things that I love about Jen, there’s no beating around the bush with her.  She tells it how it is and she has hit the nail on the proverbial head.

So many of us desire to live with a grace-first approach, but instead we hold ourselves to impossible standards rather than extending ourselves (and others) the grace that God gives us new each morning.

God didn’t put us here to cause neck pain as we rubberneck our way through life, constantly watching what others are doing around us, so that we can go home and place ourselves on an imaginary scale to determine if we measure up.  No, He created us for so much more!

And that is what this whole study is all about, learning just how valuable you are in the sight of your Creator.

“This is why we live and breathe: for the love of Jesus, for the love of our own souls, for the love of our families and people, for the love of our neighbors and this world.  This is all that will last.  Honestly, it is all that matters.” {For the Love}

The Beatles even said it, “All you need is love, love is all you need”.  And when we love well, we live well, and therefore we are set on the path to fulfill our true calling, to glorify God!

Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created. – Revelation 4:11

So back to that jaw-dropping question.  Are you ready to find the answer to it?  It’s time to let yourself off the hook, and in the meantime do the same for your family, your friends and your neighbors.  It’s time to lay down our fears and failure at the cross, so we can have our hands free as begin seeking for the purpose in the imperfections and learn to recognize that there is beauty there.

What do you need to do today to ready your heart for the lessons that lie ahead of living and loving through God’s grace?


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Bree Blum is a just your average single thirty-something book loving, oil using, cardigan wearing blogger who loves Jesus.

You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

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About

Bree is a recovering perfectionist, whose weaknesses include the clearance rack at Target and anything pumpkin flavored. Though she is an introvert, she has an insatiable craving for community and desire to bring light to God’s purpose in the imperfections of life. Read More