Not long ago we did the DISC Personality Profile at work. My profile is called “Inspirational,” that is a high I, high D right behind it and then the S and C dip way low. I ask the teacher what exactly that means. She said, “When you walk into a room of people by the time you leave not only will they know you were there, many will know your name. I tell you that to let you know God has wired me to love life, to be impetuous, inquisitive, mischievous and sometimes impulsive. My hard wiring allows me to act first and think later sometimes. I was wired to love and generate excitement and adventure!
So, I am out on my run this morning pondering life and realizing to this day the very best times of my life, the most fun and excitement, the things I look to as the most memorable were our backyard family picnics as a kid. Our holiday bashes where all the aunts and uncles and cousins came for the day and ate, played and the alcohol flowed like water!
Fast forward to 21 years of age, I’m married, we become Christians and start attending a very strict Baptist Church. For the next two and a half decades nary a drop of alcohol touched my lips! Church socials paled in comparison to my boyhood memories. Everyone seemed so guarded, it was like everyone had several protective layers and we all just bumped layers. It was stiff, very few unguarded moments. I think almost everyone feared what others would think. To this day, just coming back from a men’s retreat, you get a bunch of guys together in the wild and it is still the same as going to a Baptist Ice Cream Social. We are guarded, not sure it is safe to talk about life and our struggles.
What is the missing ingredient? Why are church people so emotionally constipated? My first inclination is we need Jesus to come and turn some water into wine and loosen this crowd up! That’s it, alcohol is the missing ingredient! Just kidding, don’t get your religious panties in a bunch!
The missing ingredient is this. As soon as people start going to church we get a little bite of the apple. We have our eyes opened to begin to see right and wrong. At that moment we begin to start measuring. I hear all the time, “I thought Joe was a Christian, did you hear what he did?” We start judging others behavior, we start laying down moral imperatives. The missing ingredient(s) are these:
1. Love without reservation.
2. Full acceptance, not act like I accept you but inside I’m thinking you need to straiten up. (That is emotionally picked up without a word being said and the guard goes up around you)
3. I must believe God is big enough to do all the shaping in your life and mine.
When those three are deeply ingrained in me I can Live, Laugh and Love and you will feel safe to do the same when you are with me!