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This Spacious Life

This Spacious Life

06 April 2010

Today’s Reading: Ruth 3-4; Psalm 64-65; 2 Corinthians 6

Scripture:

11 Dear, dear Corinthians, I can’t tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. 12 We didn’t fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. 13 I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively! (2 Corinthians 6:11-13 MSG)

For as long as I can remember I have wanted to think, speak, and live with a kind of “spaciousness” to my life. I’ve tried different words to describe the quality I love and long for: “Gracious” and “Noble” and “Generous.”

When I hear people always criticizing and finding fault, when doing your best doesn’t cut it and good is never good enough, it makes me sad. When people constantly replay the offenses they’ve suffered it makes me want to say, “Get over it!” When people have to make sure that every story they tell makes them look good and points to their successes or achievements, it makes me think, “There she goes again!” When people who have so much are discontent and jealous or envious of others who have more…

But when I find these attitudes in me or hear these things coming from my own mouth, I get angry! I know better! I don’t want to live my life with pettiness and smallness!

I’ve got good news today! There’s hope of escaping the smallness and living the spacious life. When I live out of what Paul calls the old nature or the flesh, my thinking, my talking, and my living stays small and petty. But when I live out of my true self, what Paul calls the spirit or the new man, my life becomes wide-open and spacious and my thinking, talking, and living are more noble and gracious!

I don’t always live there, but I’m there more often and for longer periods of time. If you have the same desire to escape the smallness and embrace the spacious life, be encouraged. And don’t ever settle for the fenced in smallness of “old nature” living!

Prayer:

Father, Your love and acceptance are freeing me to change. I don’t have to defend or justify myself or make me look better by making others look worse. Thanks for the progress, but please don’t let me stop here. And please help my friends who read this and feel the longing toward the wide-open spacious life take another step out into the sunlight of your love and grace. Amen.

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