Romans 12:9-10 (the message)
Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.
We want to love deeply.
We don’t want to fake it.
But sometimes it feels shallow and disingenuous. Tiresome.
What does that mean? Are we selfish and hard-hearted?
It might just mean we are spent. Scraping the bottom of our barrel. Attempting to give from an empty reservoir.
Stretching ourselves so thin that no one gets the best of us.
Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality. (vs. 11-13)
God knows. He sees our bend toward burn-out.
Check this out: Before God tells us not to burn out, He tells us to practice playing second fiddle.
Sometimes we are carrying too much emotional baggage or feeling drained because we won’t embrace second fiddle. We are striving for approval or superiority.
Maybe you don’t ever deal with this, but I know I do!
Funny though. I don’t know it until my love begins to feel peripheral and shallow. I begin to notice offense, disappointment and good ‘ol fashion hurt feelings crowding into my center.
I’ve tasted the freedom of loving and living from a deep center.
A place where our heart is so mixed up in Jesus that we’re harder to hurt, disappoint and offend. A place where His love enables us to love others…no strings attached.
The clutter pushes against my heart until I finally see…
It’s so easy to strive for first fiddle. We don’t even know we are doing it…or maybe we do…but often the offenses, hurts and disappointments accumulate because we feel our first-fiddle status is threatened.
Our worth is threatened.
I say accumulate because although offenses will come, letting them clutter our soul is really a choice. We give ourselves permission.
We choose layer after layer because we feel a deep need to defend and protect.
Argue against second fiddle.
But second fiddle is not less worth.
Not an accusation.
Not an imposition.
Second fiddle is freedom.
As we allow God’s love in us to crowd out offense and hurt, we are free to let others shine. Free to promote, encourage and lift others up. Free to dance in the shadows, sing in the background and cheer from the sidelines.
Because we trust the way Jesus lived His life.
He never pushed, manipulated, ignored, shunned, withdrew emotionally or harbored offense in His heart. When He needed emotional and spiritual rest, Jesus took a break. He didn’t need the crowd’s approval or permission. Didn’t need to convince anyone of anything.
The Cross did it for Him.
The distant echo of hammer against nail an invitation…
Second fiddle living is letting go and trusting Jesus with my rights, my needs, my worth.
This God-Man who was dead on a cross but lives anyway. This Savior who tells me to die so that I can really live.