Good and Beautiful and Kind
Week 3: Resisting Reactivity
Drawing wisdom from John 15:5-12, we explore the key concept of “abide” as a transformative force in cultivating a life aligned with the virtues of good, beautiful, and kind.
Abiding in God in the Fractured World
Our world is undeniably fractured, marked by divisiveness, anxiety, and heightened emotionality. To live a life of goodness, beauty, and kindness amidst these challenges requires a deliberate effort to resist reactivity.
The call to abide is central to navigating the tumultuous times we find ourselves in. As Jesus emphasizes in John 15, abiding involves staying, dwelling, and continuing to be present in a relationship with God.
The First Calling: Abiding with God
To work for the wholeness of the world, we must first learn to abide in God. Spending time with Jesus, allowing the Holy Spirit to steep into our hearts, minds, and souls becomes the foundation for creating a calm and loving presence.
The Second Calling: Abiding with Each Other
The vertical relationship with Jesus extends horizontally to our relationships with others. Loving one another, especially in the face of disagreements and diversity, is a testament to true discipleship. The example of Jesus challenges us to embrace and love those who are different from us. Navigating the diversity within the Church and our communities requires intentional love and understanding. True discipleship is measured by our hearts’ disposition toward those who differ from us.
The Third Calling: Abiding with Yourself
To be present with others, we must first be present with ourselves. Avoiding self-awareness in the name of religion hinders our ability to engage authentically with God and others. Identifying and challenging the negative narratives within ourselves is crucial for genuine presence. As we abide in Jesus and confront the reality of who we are, we receive the strength to face anxiety with goodness, beauty, and kindness.
In the season of Advent, as we celebrate God’s profound act of showing up in person, we are reminded that God longs to be present with us. Despite the fractured world, we are called to resist anxiety and disruption, defining ourselves by our ability to remain and abide in goodness, beauty, and kindness. In this spirit, let us be present to God, present to one another, and present to ourselves, embracing the transformative power of abiding.