Your Chemistry and Connections Matter
By Rick Warren
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31 (NIV)
God made you wonderfully complex with five factors that influence your identity. When you understand and embrace those five factors, you can start to experience real transformation toward becoming the person God made you to be.
Today we’ll look at the first two of those five factors—chemistry and connections.
The first factor that makes you who you are is your chemistry. This includes things like your DNA and chemical makeup. Maybe you were born with hypersensitivity, or perhaps you have an extremely high tolerance for pain. Some people have a low energy level, while others are bouncing off the walls. Or perhaps you have a back that’s prone to fail you, weak eyesight, or brittle bones. You might have low levels of oxytocin, a hormone that affects how you relate to other people.
No part of your chemistry is sinful or shameful—it’s the way God wired you!
I once bought a pair of distressed jeans whose tag read: “These jeans have intentional flaws in order to make them unique.” Your “genes” are the same way: They have “flaws” that make you unique. Those flaws are part of your custom design, and God planned them for his purpose and glory.
The second factor that influences your identity is your connections. Your connections give your life purpose, meaning, and identity. If you grew up with dysfunctional relationships, then you may question your purpose and struggle with identity. If you grew up with healthy relationships, connections may be easier for you.
Jesus said that the most important thing you should do is love God and love other people: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31 NIV).
Life is not about your accomplishments or acquisitions, your popularity or prestige. It’s about connections—how well you love.
Three problems keep you from loving fully as God intended:
1. We’re all imperfect. There are no perfect relationships because there are no perfect people.
2. Sin disconnects us. Adam and Eve had the first broken relationship and disconnected themselves from God and from each other. We’ve been excusing ourselves and accusing the people we love ever since.
3. The more disconnected we are, the more fearful we become. We crave intimacy, but we fear vulnerability. We crave acceptance, but we fear rejection.
When it comes to your connections, you may have been dealt a difficult hand. But you’re responsible for what you do with your connections. Will you let God affect your connections? Will you trust him for your future in spite of a difficult past? Will you nurture, protect, and build relationships so that God is more fully glorified in your life?
Are you ready to use your identity for God’s glory? Decide today to embrace your God-given chemistry and build healthy connections with God’s help.
For more Daily Hope with Rick Warren, please visit pastorrick.com!
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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