10/6/08

Law or Love?


I really should invite that family over.
I ought to be friendlier to my neighbors.
I must do something for that family in need.
I need to open up my home, but I don’t feel like it.
I wish I were more compassionate.

Why do so many of us speak about grace and compassion, but we have a hard time living it? Myself included, I find I use the above terms of obligation, duty and demand quite regularly. As I fall into using this language, I feel guilty and I lose my joy!


I was challenged this morning as I was writing this post. Because when I think about the language that I sometimes use (out of obligation or guilt), I think about the huge responsibility that God has given to me:

What am I teaching my children? The law (I feel forced to) or love (I want to)?

I want hospitality to be gracious – a way of life.

I want hospitality to be heartfelt.

I want to have JOY when I do something for someone.

I want to use the language of grace.

I want to teach my children well.


I’m changing my words to, I’d like to, I hope to, I desire to, I want to … It’s clear that when I do this, I’m resisting the bondage of “duty.”

Think about your speech – is it of law or love?

(Photos of weekend garden goods: Fresh potatoes, and still ever-bearing strawberries! Tomatoes served as appetizers that tasted like candy! Served with salt, white pepper and balsamic glaze drizzled on top! Also, we did not write down the "type" of berries that we planted - a lesson learned to write everything down because so many people have asked what they are. We know they are ever-bearing and they have given us berries from June until now!!!)

Next post: Making Apple Butter – step by step!

28 comments:

Betts said...

It isn't what we say; it's how we say it. I will have to think carefully how I say things like that now. I'm not sure how I've said them in the past.

I'm looking forward to Apple Butter tomorrow.

Scarlett said...

Great point! I too want to be a better example to my children.

I also want to know what kind of strawberries are they??? I want some never-ending strawberries!

Robin said...

The Lord gave this post to you, but He was speaking to me! I am constantly making excuses for not doing the things I know I need to do for other people, and I am a huge procrastinator. You are so right about changing what we say. I am reminded of Romans 12:2 "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." And of course, it is always His will to show compassion to others! Thank you so much for the reminder.

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

This is a fabulous post. I'm constantly trying to eliminate the "shoulds" in my life and concentrate on doing things for the right reason, the compassionate, kind, and thoughtful reasons.

Gina said...

What a great reminder today-our hearts are so important. We can do the right things out of duty, but if our heart is not right the things we do are pointless. I want to walk in the law of love and the things I do to flow from that. Thanks for sharing today.

Oh, my berries look just like yours-I checked them and all the tag says is "ever bearing" I'm pretty sure we picked them up at Lowe's. They didn't produce as much as yours-but I'm pretty sure we're at a bit of a disadvantage being in Central Oregon. A bit too cold! We even have the first snow on the mountains today.

Well, great post-thanks again for sharing.

Mod Girl said...

So much wisdom here... our tongues and our actions should mirror one another reflecting the love of Christ.

GiBee said...

Oh, wait!!! You told me what kind they were at the beginning of the season... what did I do with that email???

Kimmie said...

Hmmm, I will need to moniter myself over the next day or so and get back to you. I'd like to think that my conversations are seasoned with Grace and not smothered in Law.

you have a beautiful blog and this post is very thought provoking. Nice to meet you!

Kimmie
mama to 6
one homemade and 5 adopted

Kirstin said...

THat is so good! Trying to take the "have to" out of our vocabulary is tricky.

Nadine said...

Great wisdom in your words. It's important to have the heart also.

Christine Lynn said...

Great post! I really find myself going through spurts...I do and do and do then rest a bit...it is when I skip the rest part that my heart ends up not being right. I am excited to check in on the apple butter. I was actually planning on making apple butter last week but it ended up being apple jam instead. The butter sounded yummy but looked a little time consuming....so I will wait on you. I personally had never heard of apple jam but made it anyway, and it is actually very yummy.

Andrea said...

Sandy--so beautiful!
Your blog is full of grace!!

Sandy Toes said...

Great reminder...thank! Those strawberries look great!
-Sandy Toes

Life in the Bizzy Lane said...

great post! love , i hope...

Mandy said...

You are so right! It is up to us to set an example for our children in every way possible!!

GiBee said...

Do you think they were Day Neutral Strawberries? They produce strawberries all summer long -- ever-bearing on produce 2 crops... was that an exchange you and I had?

Jan said...

You pictures and words all very yummy to me. Thanks.

~nanashouse~ said...

Can't wait for the apple butter! My friend and I were just talking yesterday about learning how to can. There is an older lady in our church that we are going to approach for lessons. Hope she says yes!

Susie said...

Thanks for making me examine my own thoughts and actions. Great post Sandy!

Elizabeth G. said...

Wow, as usual, an excellent point! I am really going to contemplate this one....Thank you!

Blessings,
Elizabeth

Ms. Tee said...

This is a great post - I think I've done both in the past, sometimes graciousness, sometimes out of a sense of duty. This post is a good challenge. :)

Your photos are beautiful!!

see you there! said...

Thank you for a great post. My children are grown but I'll use your prompt for myself. Life is much happier when I live the words "I'd like to" instead of "I have to". Our smallest thoughts often have the greatest impact on our days.

Darla

Joelle said...

your pics are just amazing! so, I left you a little something on my blog.. cheesy, I know, but I figure everyone loves link love! :)

Barb said...

"I want hospitality to be gracious - a way of life." Those are words to live by.

I love that. There's a lot food for thought in this post.

Tammy said...

Such wise words here...I so want to have God's love flowing through me and not work out of law!

By the way, come over and check out my 350th post giveaway, Sandy!

Hugs,
~Tammy

Praise and Coffee said...

I was convicted on this today so I invited my neighbor and her two little boys over to make pumpkin cut-out cookies with Lauren. They all had a blast and I was glad I didn't pass it up to be lazy today!
I was blessed.
Sue

secondofwett said...

Amen, sister!...oh, and I read the list of apple butter ingredients from the next post to my hubby and he said...'it needs raisins'!.....don't worry....he says that about everything!.....I assured him that you can't put raisins in apple butter!

Cathy said...

Thank you for this reminder this morning (I'm catching up on your blog). I need to change my language, too, and never even thought how this kind of language translates to our children! My mother-in-law asked me on the phone last night if I could host Christmas Eve and I said "I'd LOVE to!" without thinking. As I hung up, I thought "wow, I just gave her a wonderful gift of...words!"