Friday, January 21, 2011

Words to Live By.

Today I am reflecting on these words:

"By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples; that you have love for one another."

~ John 13:35


This is actually my most favorite of my two favorite scriptures in the entire bible. No matter what version. It always sounds beautiful and perfect and has become a mantra that I tell my boys and myself often.

My other favorite one is this:

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts."

~ Psalm 139:23

Here's the thing--it doesn't matter what religion or spiritual path you follow. To me, these words are meaningful and serve as a beautiful guide on a path to authenticity regardless of in whom or what you believe.

The first verse is so perfect in it's simplicity. How will people know who you are and what you represent? Not by what you say. Not by how much money you have. Not by how fancy you dress. Get it? Your "story" is tied up in the way you love. Judgement, mean spiritedness, and narrow views send a mighty message that no amount of straight-laced-ness can camouflage. You can be in church every Sunday, have perfect attendance at your mosque, or keep the sabbath without fail. If you can't figure out how to love--I mean really love--no one will see the light in you. No matter where you think that light comes from.

Get it?

To me, Psalm 139:23 is about "the real you." Kind of like "you can run but you can't hide" from who you really are. (Don't we all feel like running and hiding from ourselves sometimes?) I feel slightly scared when I read it. Search me? Know my heart? Yikes. It's like inviting a spiritual pat-down.

More than anything, it reminds me of how glad I am for grace and mercy. The same God who knows the wrinkled and crinkled me, and who has both tried me and known even my most unkind thoughts, accepts me and loves me anyway.


Knowing who people are and realizing their shortcomings. . . . .but loving them anyway? Letting love, not piety, be your calling card?

Yeah, man. That's what I'm talking about.

Listen. I'm not there yet. Not even close. But I'm trying, man. These words ground me and get me back on track. As a doctor, as a wife, as a mother, as a friend, as a sister, as a daughter, as an individual. In all these roles, I just hope to eventually have the me on the outside mirror the me on the inside.

I'll let you know how it goes. . . . .


What words inspire you?


  1. Purple Neon (aka Stacy - I don't know why I started with the user name to begin with!)January 22, 2011 at 12:15 AM

    Lovely post today, thank you!

    The words that inspire me are not directly spiritual however serve a similar purpose. I have one of those goofy quoting coasters on my bedside table but instead of a funny quip, I picked the one that says "Never never give up". Many times after a long day when I am falling into bed and questioning all of my choices and judging myself unkindly for decisions made during the day, those words inspire me to get up again the next day, put a smile on and keep trying all over again. That silly coaster is one of my favourite things!

  2. I too, love John 13:35. It is our way of showing the Agape love to others. I meditate and set my intentions DAILY to keep my heart open to give love and to receive it. It is the God in me that extends this love and reaches the heart of others.

    It is such a peace to walk in love and no for certain that you have contempt for no one in your heart.

    Thanks for sharing this post.

    Sandi (

  3. I love the phrase "spiritual pat down."
    Happy Saturday!

  4. “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
    Calvin Coolidge

    As kids before we walked out of the door for school my mom would have us say, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me and No Weapon formed against me shall prosper.
    I have my inspirational quotes laminated and displayed.

  5. Amen to that. Love those verses. My favorite is Isaiah 40:30-31
    30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
    31 but those who hope in the LORD
    will renew their strength.
    They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

  6. thank you. so right on- why is simplicity so darn hard? l.o.v.e

  7. This reminds me of a song we sang in elementary school (Catholic) - "They will know we are Christians". I googled it and most of the version seemed sort of mournful, but I remember it being sang with great joy


"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

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