fixer upper

Chip and Joanna Gaines are remodeling pros on the TV show, “Fixer Upper”. They save homes that look hopeless by renovating the imperfections. In the end, they reveal the home as  it always intended to be: beautiful.

I was a self-anointed “fixer upper”.  I identified people, usually those closest to me, who were in desperate need of help; my help, my fixing-up.  As project manager,  I had identified what needed to be renovated. Let’s gut this and get rid of all of that!image

I scribbled lots of remodeling notes for all my “projects” during the messages at church. My always-critical mind was at work. Yes, ________ would benefit from this.  Yes, this would really help __________.   Yes, this will finally get through to _________. Praise, Jesus!

But when I excitedly arrived at the job site with the must-do renovations, I was met with resistance and anger and tears. Again and again. Over and over. Something’s not working. Why isn’t this working? Why won’t they listen to me? I am sharing because I care. I am nagging because I care. I am talking very loudly and demonstratively because I care. Dang it! Can’t they tell how much I care?

It all seemed so clear to me.  If they would  just listen to my remodeling suggestions and fix the obvious problems, then life would be better. Isn’t that what we all want? The better life of rainbows and puppies down on easy street. What was broken; would now be fixed. What was outdated; would now be new. Everything would be better, at least from my perspective. This seemed like a very Jesus-like thing to do; helping others to a better life. Didn’t Jesus want me to help others?

Albert Einstein defines insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. According to his definition, I qualify for the insanity diagnosis. I have been doing the “fixer upper” thing over and over again with no new results. Just the same strained, awkward, and broken relationships and a large bump on my head from beating it against a wall.

Not only were my “projects” in misery, so was I. Peace was nowhere to be found but weariness was everywhere. I needed “self-renovation”. I needed a DIY on myself. The nearest, dearest people around me had become projects to be managed; instead of people to be loved.

Thankfully, God provided His perfect blueprint.  He reminded me of our roles. My job was not as a fixer upper; my job was to love and keep on loving. Simply love others as He loves me.  I can’t change or fix people; only He can. That’s His job; He’s the foreman.

Jesus just loved people. He was always loving. He loved while walking and talking to people. He loved while hanging on the cross.

So I am putting away my tool belt.  There are apologies that need to be said and love that needs to be given. I am fixing my eyes on Jesus and the only renovating project I see is the one reflected in His Loving Eyes: me.

We can’t tell people to come as they are, but insist they change before they arrive. People grow where they are loved. Bob Goff

 

Let’s Walk Worthy!

Photo credit: maxwellinterior.com

 

 

10 Comments

  1. This is so beautifully eloquent. What a great metaphor to describe this conundrum. How easy it is to pick out the speck in your friend’s eye, and try to help them remove it, all the while being blind to the log in your own.

    I’m absolutely guilty of trying to find solutions to other’s ‘problems’ while completely missing the changes I’ve needed to forge in myself for more years than I’d be willing to admit. How freeing it is to know that it’s not your job to change others. And how enlightening it is to know that you can work with Jesus to help bring about change in yourself. I’m so incredibly grateful for His endless grace and mercy as He’s allowed me to see my flaws and is continually helping me to iron them out. Thank you for your honesty and openness in this post. It was such a great reminder that I always need to continue to work on myself. Keep it up!

  2. First off – I love Chip and Joanna.
    Second – I can’t fix up a person like God can any more than I can fix up a house like Chip and Joanna can. And I’ve tried to do both… And I’ve failed at both. I’m learning to leave the fixing up to the pros… God for people and the Gaines for homes.

  3. Thank you for your words, honesty and wisdom. This is such a good reminder and such a great word picture. I know you to be a person that gives much love and grace! Journeying and growing with you!

  4. I pray we will continue to grow in just loving one another. You are right !

  5. Kathy Jo Camacho

    April 15, 2016 at 10:25 am

    Thank you for the reminder. I like the “job” of loving better then fixing. At times both can be difficult, however, the results of loving are so much better.

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