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Truth, or Dare? In which I discover I hide my fear behind truth…

IMG_0444.JPGTruth, or Dare? I choose Truth. Every time. I don’t recall ever taking a dare. I’d like to say it’s because i’m much too mature to accept a dare. Or, that it’s because of my deep abiding love for the truth and my calling to tell it….but it’s not.

It’s  mostly because of my deep, abiding fear of failing. With a side order of control issues. Control issues are the fries on my emotional plate.

Last week during MomCon someone just mentioned truth or dare, in a totally non-related to this post way, but it struck me that I’m not much of a risk or dare taker. Truth? I’ll tell the truth about how crazy I am, all day long. But accept a dare? Not so much.

“Challenge” is a word I can deal with. Challenges seem more manageable. “Dares” feel more risky.

But, what is a dare?

Dare-verb
1.have the courage to do something. “a story he dare not write down” synonyms: be brave enough, have the courage; More
2. defy or challenge (someone) to do something.”she was daring him to disagree” synonyms: challenge, defy, invite, bid, provoke, goad; throw down the gauntlet
“she dared him to go”
3.literary take the risk of; brave.”few dared his wrath”
noun noun: dare; plural noun: dares
1.a challenge, especially to prove courage.”athletes who eat ground glass on a dare” synonyms: challenge, provocation, goad; More

Right now, I’m wondering what would happen if I took more dares. (Not middle school ones, I’ve outgrown those.) What about the dare to make a difference? To make a change? To take a risk I can’t manage or control the outcome of?

Jesus made some pretty big dares… he calls us to risky, dangerous things that require courage and may not make sense to others. (Or, ourselves. Let’s be real. Jesus is right, but doesn’t always make sense.)

Love your neighbor as yourself? Love your enemies? Go and sin no more? Feed my sheep? Whatever you’ve done to the least of these, you’ve done to me?  Pick up your cross and follow me? All Commands…. but also dares. They require courage.

  • Loving my neighbor can be complicated and inconvenient. Loving myself, is hard, (I generally find myself annoying.) but is implied. If that’s the standard, how can I love others, without it? How can I love myself?
  • Loving my enemies may make me vulnerable to attack. (Turning the other cheek? BIG dare. I’d rather turn the backside of my hand..justsayin.)
  • Go and sin no more? Might be the hardest work I’ve ever done, I need help.
  • Feed my sheep? Requires giving. Maybe, giving something I don’t even have yet.
  • Whatever you’ve done to the least of these… requires me to look at the way I really treat those i consider the least of these, They are the “less than” in my relational equations.  (Hey! Thats almost math! Score!) Those I judge most? Those most marginalized? Most frustrating? Most different? Insert your least of these here…any way you slice it this dare is uncomfortable. We ALL have a least of these. And Jesus throws down the gauntlet that how we treat them, is how we treat HIM.
  • Picking up my cross involves pain. Sacrifice. Searching. Questioning. What things do I lay down?  What do I pick up? Following Jesus means turning away from something else. Usually, my self, my wants and preferences…. That is a dare of epic proportions because where ever I turn, there I am. Kinda hard to deny.

Honestly?I’d rather tell the truth abut what a jerk I am, than take up most of these dares.

But, Jesus doesn’t play games. It’s not a middle school trick resulting in kissing some weird kid. It’s a dare to something more. something beautiful. A life lived accepting his dares to more. And what he dares us to- He promises to bless. It’s His work start to finish.

More love. More truth. More sacrifice. More justice. More giving. More peace.

So what about you? Truth, or dare?

What things do you feel God is daring you, to do?

I’m choosing the courage to take His dares.. one at a time and with shaking steps. Your dares? Especially if they involve pumpkin spice? Maybe, not so much. Hey- Jesus never said go back to middle school. Justsayin.

Now, I’m off to watch the Pope address the UN… I have a feeling he takes Jesus’ dares pretty seriously..:)

Dear Lord, Give us wisdom and ears to hear your dares. Give us courage to accept them and take the risks to fulfill them. Give us grace when we run the other way because we wonder if you’re insane. (You know our hearts, Jesus. There’s no point pretending we don’t on occasion think you’re cray-cray. Right, but cray cray. I still don’t get the love your enemies thing…that’s hardcore. I’m working on it.) Change the world with your dares, through us, lord. I love you. Amen

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