We are going to try something a little different this year. Jen and I are choosing a different theme each month for all of our content (i.e. the newsletter, videos, and blog posts). Both of us feel that this will provide the best experience for you all and give us all the opportunity to really explore the topics by spreading the theme over the course of the entire month. The truth is, we know we have not been as consistent as we’d like to be, but it’s not for lack of love! We are hopeful that some new structure will help keep us rolling forward and connecting with you in meaningful ways.
This month, the theme is “What is your word?” In our latest newsletter, I detailed one of our family’s newer traditions we observe before each New Year’s Eve. If you didn’t know we had a monthly newsletter (we actually are consistent with this one), you can sign up here. For those of you who missed it, no worries. You can go here to catch up.
Recently, I was thinking about my word for this year, hope, in the context of the recent controversy around the newest Gillette campaign. If you haven’t seen it, you can view it here. There are many different view points around the message— some for and some against it. Those who have voiced their opinions talk about what they have seen in the message. I’ve watched the commercial multiple times. Here are two things I see:
I see a call to action. A call for men to choose to become better men. In other words, it is a call to us men to become someone greater than we currently are. Think about any heroic story. All of them share this message: There is a better version of you ahead on this journey. Seek it out. Fight for it. Win it. Shouldn’t that be a desire that we all have? Shouldn’t we all seek to be better today than we were yesterday? What about you? What goal are you currently seeking?
I see loving accountability. When I watch the commercial, I don’t see shame. I don’t see ridicule (unless you are talking about the bullying depicted, or what some of the men are doing to the women in the commercial). Instead, I see men showing and encouraging other men to choose a different path. The road to the better you is a hard one, full of obstacles and adversity. All of us need help, encouragement, support along the way. Who fills that role in your life?
So what does this all have to do with hope? Hope is what keeps us going! Nothing will tear you down faster than hopelessness. Hope fuels us, drives us, and focuses our attention.
In his opening remarks in his letter to the Colossians, Paul makes the comment, “For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all of God’s people, which come from your confident hope of what God has reserved for you in heaven.” (Col 1: 4-5). Faith, hope, and love are, to borrow a phrase from John Eldridge, the three great treasures of the heart.
Think about it. What is faith apart from hope and love? What is love apart from faith and hope? These two, faith and love, are made complete with hope. For Christians, our hope is in Jesus. He is the ultimate source of all three. In him we see faith, hope, and love perfected. Through Christ we have an unwavering and eternal hope of the restoration of all things. Indeed all of creation has that hope. What is the restoration of all things? It is when God finally restores the world back to its original design and glory.
There is a phrase that is part of the culture at Apple, “Good enough isn’t.” That is God’s call to each of us—a loving call, not one with an edge of shame or striving. He’s inviting us all to become better, greater. He is fathering us, maturing us, shaping us into the person that He ultimately created us to be. I’m excited about that. I love God and what He is doing. I have faith that He will never leave me nor forsake me. I have the hope that ALL things will be made new again. What a wonderful hope that is.