Recently, I sat in a meeting discussing the values that are the foundation to Grace Family Church. One of the is “Be Real.” It is actually one that I truly appreciate about our church and our leadership.
As long as I have known Pastor Craig, he has modeled this value. He was leading this group through the discussion. When he got to this point, he asked, “What are things we do that will help us to be real?” As the answers poured forth, I was impressed to see how our diverse staff in age, gender, ethnicity and backgrounds came up with excellent characteristics of “realness.” One thought came to my mind…
Think about it. When you are real, you consistently respond in the same way on a regular basis. The foundation of Grace has not changed in the last 24 years. Our mission is to lead people in a growing relationship with God. We want to reach the lost, serve others, provide community, be generous, develop the next generation and be real. Have we always achieved excellence over the years? Not always, but we have a lot more “wins” than losses. We have used those challenges to help us grow in each one. These values have not changed. Their methods and application have over the years, but the core of those values have not.
Wouldn’t that be true for each of us. The Lord has blessed each of us with our own personality, gifts and talents. He doesn’t ask us to be like anyone else. He doesn’t ask us to be something we are not. Instead, he asks us to do two things – (my paraphrase) – Love God and Love People.
How consistent are you in this? Do you love God in the good and the bad? When he blesses you and when he throws a curveball into your life? When things are clear and when you have more questions than answers?
What about loving others? Do you value others that are “above” you as much as those who are “below” you? Are you generous to help others even if they may not be able to give back? Do you act one way with a group of people and different to others?
I look at the two previous paragraphs and I take a deep breath. Sometime, I do this well. I consistently demonstrate my love for God and others. Other times, I fail. But when I do, I have a choice. Either I go in a new direction or I get back on the same trail and try again. I choose to get back on the horse…I own my stuff, ask for forgiveness (or extend it to others) and I grow.
It isn’t flashy and spectactular – It’s real.