Wednesday, April 18, 2012

thought for today...godly graffiti

We live on a dirt road and we work in an office on a dirt road so our little SUV gets dusty.  It gets washed and then gets dusty again...the cycle is endless.  It is fairly common to see various messages written on car windows around the city.  

This was the message left on our car the other day.

There are passages in Matthew, Mark and Luke that say "Love your neighbor as you love yourself".  But our tagger flipped the message. "Love yourself as you love your neighbor."  What great food for thought.  For some of us loving our neighbor is easy but loving ourselves is the challenge.  

Is it like that for you?  

Do you need to cut yourself some grace and begin loving yourself the way you love your neighbor?  

I confess that this is one of my struggles.  I remember being taught this J-O-Y acronym in Sunday School as a child.  

Jesus first.
Others second.
Yourself last.

It is so much easier to have patience with someone in pain, or with the one who has made a mistake, or with that one who takes a little extra tolerance to work with than it is to be kind to and take care of myself.  

I am realizing through this Year of Surrender that I have gotten some of God's words twisted.  And I need to work them out.  Jesus first, yes!  Just like the J-O-Y acronym starts.  But the Bible verse admonishes me to 'Love my neighbor AS myself''.  Not 'instead of' or 'before'  As.   As I begin allowing this to take root in my brain my attitude toward myself begins to change and I surrender another layer of the veneer that covers my heart.  

I know that one day at a time and one issue at a time this season of Surrender will make me, mold me, and fill me with more of Him, more of His Word, and more of His grace.  

May God help us work through the issues standing in the way
and the words that we have twisted in our lives
 so that He may fit us for His service!

linking up with:

and you can find a post of mine here:
Alida: She Rocks

as part of the series:


  1. Anonymous2:31 AM

    Hi Alida - we also live on a dust road and alternate between dust - mud - clean (briefly) and so we go round. Love what was written in the dirt of your car. The best one I saw here was on a white pick-up truck, "also available in white" :)
    Great post and thanks for linking it up.
    God bless

  2. Anonymous4:48 AM

    Do you need to cut yourself some grace... I surrender another layer of the veneer that covers my heart. These are wonderful words indeed! We have been talking about vulnerablility over at our blog. that veneer...that covers...hiding me ...twisting me. SO GOOD THIS IS!!!

  3. Anonymous6:35 AM

    Brilliant Alida! This is a great reminder and a beautiful gift your received! They always come unexpected, don't they?
    Loving ourselves is so important, without it we can't help and love others.
    Thank you for sharing dear! Take care.

  4. Loved your post! Also that acronym is great and loving our neighbor as our ourselves is so powerful!!

  5. LOVE that this was left on your car!!!! What a reminder! This has been on my heart so strongly since returning from the inner city...LOVE

  6. I love the graffiti! Yes, I love Brennan Manning and so much of his teaching is compassion for self. He teaches will will only be as compassionate to others as we are to ourselves. "The degree of our compassion for others depends upon our capacities for self acceptance. When I am most unhappy with myself, I am most critical of others. When I am most into self condemnation, I am most judgmental of others" Brennan Manning.

  7. I love that flip around! How clever! Graffiti doesn't always warrant profound thinking, but this certainly does!

  8. Anonymous7:58 PM

    Oh Alida, how many times have I got things twisted thankful for the truth that sets me from twistation....! wink's a terrible disease....

  9. It's easy to love others - for me - much harder to love myself at times. sandie

  10. Alida, the snapshot of your "very real dirt" makes me smile. I'm going to have to get the kids to stop writing silly slogans like "clean me," on our dusty van and begin to use it as a chalkboard for Bible verses :) And on a more serious note, yes, I have twisted a few of His words, too. I love your encouragement to untangle the mistruths today so He can use us more. Hope it's a great day in Belize today!

  11. thank you so much for being part of my series you are truly an inspiration to most of us :)