Karen Ehman is one of those writers that speaks right into the tender places of our hearts. She’s real, blunt, and truthful when we need to hear rebuke or correction, but she’s also kind, compassionate, and loving. Her words in Listen, Love, Repeat: Other-Centered Living In A Self-Centered World did all of those things for me!
Our home is in desperate need of some updates! Homeschooling four young kids and being a total Type B- has left my home in less than tip-top shape. It’s not filthy by any means, but it’s definitely lived in! I would see friends’ homes that were always clean and together on top of being well decorated, and slowly yet surely, I let the enemy convince me my home wasn’t good enough. Comparison truly is the thief of joy! Then I once got brave and invited a lady into my home to walk her through some stuff in the Bible. One day she made an off-hand comment about my lack of organization and it hit me straight to my core. I know she didn’t mean to be hurtful and if she knew how it made me feel, she would most definitely apologize. But from that day on I have kept people out of my home.
The Lord has convicted me of this time and time again, and He has used Listen, Love, Repeat to solidify that my home isn’t meant to be just an oasis for my family, but a place to share God’s goodness with others. Obviously, someone out there needs to see my less-than-perfect home and feel welcomed. I need to let go of this false truth that my home doesn’t measure up and instead open it up and be obedient to God.
My home isn't meant to be just an oasis for my family, but a place to share God's goodness with… Click To Tweet
While some books tend to preach at you about how you should serve others and love your neighbor, Listen, Love, Repeat isn’t like that. Karen shares personal stories and invites you to take part of what it means to scatter kindness. The end of each chapter gives you practical ideas of how to put love into action. From Scripture, to talking points, to recipes, to step-by-step instructions, Listen, Love, Repeat gives the reader an honest accountability to take the necessary steps to hear the “heart drops” from others and love them in a Hands and Feet kind of way.
We often believe the lie that we have to serve in a certain role at church or with a ministry to have some kind of grand impact for the Kingdom. The truth as Karen puts it, we are to use our ordinary lives for God’s extraordinary purposes. In Chapter 4 she encourages us to notice the necessary people in our lives. Whether it be your child’s school teacher or the garbage man, there are simple acts of kindness we can do to let them know we appreciate them. Sometimes it’s just a kind word to brighten their day.
We don’t have to go on a mission trip to serve others. Ministry is always the person right in front of you. Think of some people in your day-to-day life that you can bless in a tangible way. When we reach out to serve others with the love of Christ, He ends up blessing us back and filling us with an indescribable joy!
Karen also stretched me in the chapters on loving the lonely and the unlovable. Let’s face it! There are some people who make it hard to love them in a personal way. It’s easier to love them only through Facebook posts or text messages, but God did not call us to love people who only made us comfortable and loved us back. We are to mourn with those who mourn, and hurt with those who hurt (Romans12:15). If Jesus only loved those it was easy to, He never would’ve sacrificed His life for me and you.
Jesus spoke in Luke 6:32-36
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
The back of Chapter 8 is filled with how we can love those hard people. Karen also gives advice on how we can put distance between ourselves and those rocky relationships with those who deliberately pursue evil. There’s a big difference between someone whose bad behavior truly stems from abuse or mental illness and someone who purposefully hurts others because they can. How we exhibit this hard love will look greatly different depending on the circumstance. Karen does a superb job at helping us navigate these tough waters.
Live, Love, Repeat is a book full of Lively Faith! I am elated to have two copies of Listen, Love, Repeat to give away! To enter, be sure you’re subscribed to aLivelyFaith.com and share one of Karen’s images on social media tagging both she and I in it!
I want to hear from you! Comment below for extra entries to win, and share one way you plan to Listen, Love, Repeat this coming week!#ListenLoveRepeat is a book full of #LivelyFaith! @KarenEhman hit a home run with this one! Great… Click To Tweet