Has What You Love Lost its Luster?

I have the uncanny ability to turn the things I love into dreaded tasks.

It’s one of my most unenviable traits. Truly. I’ve prayed on the cause. Why do I clutter God’s given gifts with my unreachable expectations? Time and again, I’m brought back to the [entirely complex] fact that my propensity for perfect order and my craving for a tidy outcome, suck the joy right out of what ought to be filled with it.

Has What You Love Lost its Luster? {Love Notes from God} www.simplyforone.net http://wp.me/p2v8DX-nP

The things we love will quickly become work if we forget we love them. (Tweet that)

“I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance…
But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.”
Revelation 2:2,4

Pursuits that were once propelled by enthusiastic perseverance, but are now motivated by deep-seated burden, have misplaced their affection. If we forget what first quickened our heart and set our feet in motion, we are on a down hill slope headed directly for burnout. When our motive shifts from delight to guilt, we’ve removed our heart from the equation.

Using God’s gifts for our gain rather than His glory is a recipe for resentment, not adoration. (Tweet that)

More often than not, our methods of gain are going to bleed dry resources that were intended to be used for His purposes, not ours. That’s precisely when what we love (people, pursuits, passion) loses it’s luster—when we turn it into something it was never supposed to be.

God has been writing me a few love notes, wooing me back to my most cherished pursuits:

Grace turns our have-to into a get-to:

When we wrestle with our gifts and force them to do what we want them to, rather than what God intended them for, we risk falling out of love. We no longer see our calling as an anointed offering (a get-to), but as a ball and chain (a have-to). When we inevitably don’t meet our own “have-to” standards we’re met with guilt and shame—the polar opposite of grace and the graveyard for spiritual fruit. If what you once loved has suddenly grown claws and is tearing at your time and attention, perhaps you’ve forgotten the balm of grace. A little grace goes a long way …

But, do you have to?

I’m the queen of head-down, self-propelled momentum. It gets me pretty far, until I hit a wall. My husband is great at reminding me that often, I don’t have to. If you find yourself wrestling with willingness, maybe it’s time to let go. Or at the very least, take a break. Are people depending on your words, your time, your presence so much so that a little leave of absence would wreak havoc? If not, then perhaps you’ve actually inflated your importance (ouch!) and a step away would be better for everyone involved … especially you. Or maybe it’s time to acknowledge that …

You can’t do it all alone.

We need people. Maybe it’s your husband who knows you inside out or the friends who love you “even when.” If you’re lucky there is a community of believers who don’t expect you to be perfect, even when you think you should be. I have people, but I hate to ask them for help. And it’s stupid, because they love to help me. If the things you love are drowning you, maybe you need a life-preserver. A buoy to hold onto until you’ve got your bearings? A helper who can carry part of your load? Or perhaps you need Someone to pull you all the way onto dry land…

Have you replaced gratitude with gluttony?

I’m grateful for the gifts that God has given me—writing, teaching, leading—but my gratitude can cause me to believe that I have to take every opportunity to use those gifts. And if I exhaust and press myself, I probably could do it all. But I’d end up regarding everything as mediocre instead of a few things as incredible. That’s a quick way to lose your passion. If you were once in love with everything, and now you’re in love with nothing, perhaps it’s time to say no to another helping. Return to your first love. God will narrow our field of vision when we allow Him to clear our path.

I’m intent on praying God’s love notes into post-its on my heart. Every good and perfect gift is written over my life by His hand. My desire is to adore each one—to treasure, regard, and honor it with utmost care—not strangle the joy out of it. I stand in awe of a God who loves me so much, He doesn’t want me to lose what I love most.

Have God’s love notes struck a chord in your heart? Let’s chat in the comments below. 

You can also find these words linked up at my favorite spots:  Holly Barrett (#testimonytuesday), Jennifer Dukes Lee (#tellhisstory)Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), and Kristin Hill Taylor (#threewordwednesday).


26 thoughts on “Has What You Love Lost its Luster?

  1. Your words here encourage me as God continues to teach me about choosing joy. The internet (well, mostly Facebook) has been frustrating me lately. All the political and spiritual banter is exhausting. All of that to say, I’m so grateful every time I come here I’m met with grace and love.

    1. I’m so delighted that it’s the place for you. Yes, social media certainly has its pitfalls doesn’t it. Then there are those adorable baby pictures that make it all good. ;) I’m glad that God loves us so much that He wants what we love to bring us joy. Love you, friend. xo

  2. I love this Tiffany!
    Just as the day I had to intentionally slow down and ask the Lord what to do.. Shall I or Shall I not? Rather than plunge into my own instead of God’s own.
    Thanks friend.
    God Bless

  3. This really is good, Tiffany. So important to keep perspective on the ministries God gives us, isn’t it? SO EASY to lose perspective. I need a couple of post-it notes on my heart too. Words from Him. Today it’s “Listen and Follow.”

    1. Those are good words and two very unique and equally difficult commands. I’m trying to be better about the listening and stop throwing in the “but, Lord.” ;) Thanks for visiting today, friend. Hugs!

  4. Tiffany,
    I love this! I felt smothered by some things in my life this year and decided to take a break — from some friendships, from going to church to worshipping online instead — and clearing out helped me spend time in God’s presence. I love how you put it — let’s try not to strangle the joy out of what we do. Thanks for these thoughtful words!

    1. There is such wisdom in paring down our schedules. I’m not the best at it by any means, but it really is refreshing to be able to give a few things the time they deserve…especially when they are things we love. And yes, His presence is certainly one of them. So glad you visited today, Valerie. Blessings!

  5. So so true! We can do this with pretty much everything in life. I’m so bad about taking on too much and then burning out. I need to be better about asking for help and then ACCEPTING it.

    1. Oh, help. Yup…I need to be better about asking for it and not feeling like I’m failing when I do. It’s a side effect of being such a doer. But I’m getting better! God’s been showing me that others have that helps gift and when I say I don’t need it, I’m robbing them of an opportunity to use their gift. So accepting help is actually a public service…how’s that logic?! ;)

  6. YES and AMEN! Sometimes you have to drop back to first gear as my friend would say and start over. Re-calibrate and recalculate what God is putting on our heart when our love gets hijacked. ♥ And always check our motives at the door! I know I’ve been doing a lot of that this year and it’s likely to continue!!

    1. “Recalibrate and recalculate.” Love that! Yes, our motives can get very misguided if they aren’t in line with His will. Thanks for joining the conversation today, Heather. Blessings.

  7. Well said. I love this post Tiffany! what a thought provoking post that causes us to take a close look at the loves that God has blessed us with. It is my prayer that I never look at writing and sharing my faith as a “burden” but as a beautiful gift from God. Like you said, having balance in your life is so key. I was truly blessed by this post! May God continue to bless you and yours in everything you do!

    1. Yes! Balance is huge, Horace. I’m such a doer so I have to be cautious and conscious of the choices I make (or learn to be!) so that I can do what He sets before me with heart. You are so right…it’s a beautiful gift. Thank you for joining the conversation!

  8. Tiffany, I love your words, your truths here. When our perspective shifts from God to ourselves, everything else shifts too. When my get-to turns to have-to, I need to re-evaluate where my heart is.

    You’ve got me thinking tonight, my friend. But, every time I read your words, I come away richer.

    1. So glad these words met you, Jeanne. It’s hard to watch the get-to lose its luster. I think it’s what stirs up all those give-up conversations with God that we talked about at your place. We want to hold what we love loosely so He has His way, but very practically there is work that has to be done…and it’s hard to do it well when our heart isn’t in it. I’m still processing that myself clearly! :) But God is moving and working and that truly thrills me. Love you, friend…thanks for being here.

  9. Sincerely I have lost my passion about a lot of things, including my love for the things I enjoyed doing for God, I have several times tried to go it all on my own thinking I could do it all, forgetting God’s grace. I completely relate to this post and feel God is calling me back to the things I once loved and cherished.

    I’m so grateful for this post Tiffany. Thank you so much. It really blessed me.

    Visiting from Testimony Tuesdays.

    I invite you to share with us at #EncourageMe Linkup @ (http://www.graciousinsight.org/lessons-from-the-book-of-numbers-part-1-and-link-up-week-5/)

    1. I think the first step back to what we love is realizing that we’ve lost it. I know it takes great courage to acknowledge that before the Lord, Grace. It can be disheartening, but the path back is also energizing because God leads us–He sifts and refines the work of our hands and bring us to the good things rather than the many things…if we let Him. I with you, Grace. I’m on my knees before God alongside you and expectant of the work He’ll do in and through us. Thank you for being here. You have blessed me. I’ll be sure to check out the link-up too.

  10. Tiffany, post-its on my heart…that image will stick with me for a long time. Oh and grace…how much do I love God’s grace. I did happen to spend all 31 days of October writing about that very subject. Love you friend. Thanks for your words! Blessed to be your neighbor at Tell His Story today.

  11. Great perspective, Tiffany. This is a wonderful post! I’m returning to my first love. Thank you so much for prompting me to do so. I appreciate you, girl! God bless you and your beautiful heart!!

    1. There is certainty in your words, Julie! Love that you know just what that first is and that you are going (back) after it. Blessings to you sweet friend – and I appreciate you too…so much!

  12. WOW. Hit me right in the gut with this one, girl.
    “But I’d end up regarding everything as mediocre instead of a few things as incredible.” = Genius. Nailed it.
    I have this same disease!
    Get the vision + gain momentum + go headlong 24/7 = crash and burn.
    I’m at the crash and burn stage now.
    Why do we take over like that? I can so relate to everything you said here.
    Life will go on without us. Scaling back and enjoying those few things is what is needed most.
    Thank you, Tiffany!

    1. Aww, Ruthie…at least we’re not crashing alone – that’s something right?! :) I’ve gone through several awesome crash and burns and I always promise myself I’ll learn the lesson. But this time God is taking me to task on it. It’s like He’s saying He has new and better things, but I’m too busy chasing everything else to even hear them…or to let go. It’s the prospect of crowding out the “one good thing” that is really reigning me in this time. I hope!! I’m praying that He clears our field of vision and softens that blow to your gut. Hugs, friend.

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