First of a four-part series

This series is based on a book by Brené Brown called “The Gifts of Imperfection.”

What does it mean to live wholeheartedly? Does it involve courage? How about compassion? What about connection? Can we dare to say?

No matter what gets done and how much is left undone … I am enough?

Can you also say, “Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging?”

The call of the prophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1:4-19 gives us a perfect picture of someone who dealt with uncertainty. And why wouldn’t he? Jeremiah is just a boy. Yet here is God delivering to him a tremendous calling. What could allow him to believe that he could live wholeheartedly into his calling? He had to dig, and he had to dig deep.

He had to deliberate. When we deliberate, we dive deep into thoughts and behaviors through prayer, meditation and setting intentions.

When we deliberate in this way, we get Inspired. When we get inspired, we make new and different choices. (That’s the work of the Holy Spirit.)

We make deliberate and inspired choices that gets us going! We take action.

Wholehearted living is not this thing that we do once or twice and then put it on the shelf. It is a process.

Think about anytime you decide to take a trip. There are things you simply must take with you. Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, clean socks? This journey of wholeheartedness is no different. What needs to take place to live and love from a place of worthiness. What is holding us back? Do we hold back on things like courage, compassion, and connection?

These are superhero qualities, aren’t they? Lofty ideals. But as always, God has good news. Our weaknesses force us to call on God and use His amazing tools. Learning to use these tools daily means embracing the concepts of courage, compassion, and connection.

It’s OK to struggle with difficult concepts like love, belonging and authenticity. But look past those feel-good words and trite sayings. Dig into what it really means to put our hearts into wholehearted living.

Courage is a great place to start. Look at Jeremiah’s call story. Jeremiah is a mere boy given a tremendous task. Tell the people of Israel how wrong they’ve been.

Jeremiah tries hard to deflect. First, he says, “I don’t know how to speak.” Then he says, “I’m only a boy.”

How many times have we felt like saying, “I quit! It’s too hard! I want out of this!” How many times have we thought or said, “ I didn’t choose this, it chose me?”

How did God respond to these doubts of Jeremiah? Vs 7-8.

“Do not say, ‘I am only a boy;’

For you shall go to all to whom I send you,

And you shall speak whatever I command you.

Do not be afraid of them,

For I am with you to deliver you,

Says the Lord.”

If we’re called to do something, God has already given us the tools to do so. God may have tests to prove us though. Look at the tests of Jeremiah. vs 11-13

The word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see a branch of an almond tree.” Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.”

The word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying, “What do you see?” And I said, “I see a boiling pot, tilted away from the north.”

God may give us unpleasant messages to deliver, like this one for young Jeremiah. “Out of the north disaster shall break out on all the inhabitants of the land.”

I don’t believe that the world is looking for a greeting card reality. It needs honest and risky conversations about what gets in the way of living wholeheartedly.

Yes, courage is a lofty goal. But Christians accept the task to talking with a courage that lets go of what other people think.

Why talk about this? More than ever, the world needs deeper conversation about love, belonging and worthiness.

When Christians can grasp the concepts of courage, compassion and connection, it can lead us to conversations of love, belonging and worthiness

Courageously letting go of shame and fear allows us to stand against the “you are not good enough” crowd and those who would say “Who do you think you are?” God already answered that. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born, I consecrated you;” if God calls us to do it, He gives us the tools to achieve it.

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