I use the word “intentional” a lot.
It’s my preferred synonym of purposeful.
It means, to me, that something was valued enough to put care, thought, intention, and purpose into.

And I’d venture to say that John & I are pretty intentional about a lot of things.
I’d also say that I’m absolutely the most intentional about relationships in my life.

I’m an incredibly relational person. I love to be around people, and though I do like to go to the bathroom alone, there aren’t any other places I can think of where I don’t adore having company.
I love people. I love getting to know people and their stories. And I commit to folks something serious.

And here’s the thing…
{I realized when prompted by someone else’s question that I don’t talk about it much}
I love people for one reason:

He loved me first.

I am convinced that I wouldn’t love people if this weren’t the case. I might do nice things for people. But it would be about making myself feel good. Or from a sense of obligation {still about making myself feel good.} Or to be accepted, or to be loved in return, etc., etc.
The point is, I might still be a generally nice person on the surface, but it would be self-serving.

The only reason I ever make it past the point of self serving in my relationships with people… to the point of never losing hope, of being patient, kind, humble, any of that… is because HE gives it to me.

And I’m not quick to explain that, necessarily. Maybe because I don’t want to freak out my friends who don’t know Jesus by being all, “Hey, I love Jesus so I want to love you.” And have them run in the other direction. Of course, I would hope that they all know by now what I’m all about.

The thing is… I don’t pursue these friends because I want to convince them that they need Jesus.
I want to pursue these friends because  they were created by Jesus. Because He calls them His masterpiece.
Because even in all the brokenness of all the people around me all the time, I see His beauty. I see His glory shining through. And because He wants to know them. And He wants people to want to know each other. And that’s why I pursue people. That’s why I want my door to always be open. That’s why I struggle to say no anytime people invite me into any part of their life {be it real relationship or just a party.} That’s why I find it incredibly difficult to let go of relationships AND why I find it incredibly difficult to not be honest with people in relationship.

The thing is, I desperately want all my friends to know the beautiful freedom that comes in knowing Jesus.
Because it saved me.
Because He set me free from all the things that were binding up my soul and keeping me in darkness.
Not that I don’t obviously have my moments, but the general direction of my life and my heart is in the way of contentment, joy, and LIFE.
I want that for everyone I encounter. But I don’t necessarily wear a t-shirt that says it. I don’t necessarily tell anyone that at our first meeting, or even at all. I do want them to want to know me, too, and hey, they don’t necessarily have the love of Jesus as their motivation to want to do so.

I do, however, make it my intention to go about showing them that in everything that I do… and telling them that with my words whenever they give me the opportunity to.

2 thoughts on “Intentions.”

  1. Yes. Yes, yes, yes! If we can let go of our agendas and just love, I believe people will come into relationship with Jesus in a way that is authentic, organic, and not contrived.

    Side note: I think this is relevant not only in our peer-level relationships, but also in relationship with our spouse and child{ren}. Even as I was dealing with a difficult child this morning, I kept thinking, “I can love you through this because Christ has loved me.”


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