A couple weeks ago I was reviewing a conversation and I noticed how "careful" I had been. I was "care-full" to choose my words and my tone. I started mulling. To be full of care: concerned, intentional, thoughtful.
But then I became curious "Why am I careful?" If I am honest with myself, sometimes my motivation is pragmatic. I want the meaning of my words to be heard, and I want to be understood. That can be beneficial for good communication. But sometimes my heart is self-protective. I want to be liked and well-received, and I do not want to offend. And there are times my heart is primarily concerned with the well-being of another, and compassion is behind my intention. But one thing seems to be true - when I am careful I am being thoughtful about what I am choosing. My choosing could be of faith and aligned with God, or maybe not... my intention could be self-driven.
Being careful does not guarantee the results I hope for. I can choose my words very carefully and still be misunderstood. Perhaps my heart is tangled up so the words will be tangled up as well. Or maybe the one receiving my words is tangled up and the results are messy. Life is messy and emotion filled. And being "care full" does not only apply to our words but to our actions as well.
But what if I asked a different question "Was I faithful?" How does that change my perspective? What does it mean to be "full of faith"? Perhaps shifting the question turns my focus from results and performance... to relationship. I am reminded of the story of Martha and Mary in Luke 10. Although my personality is not like Martha, my heart can be a lot like Martha's heart in that story. I can be focused on the results that seem important to me in the moment. What worries and bothers me? How might fixing my eyes on Jesus, like Mary, steady and anchor my heart?
Martha's intention and attention was primarily directed to the task at hand, and it was a good work. But she derailed from alignment with Jesus. If I am "full of faith" in Jesus and seeking to walk with Jesus how will my words, my choices, my life unfold today?