Thursday, March 17, 2005

I Know That You Think You Do

Did anybody see that Albert Brooks movie Mother? It wasn't very good, but it had this one great line that I remember howling at. He is having a conversation with his mother (played by Debbie Reynolds) on the phone. Just before they hang up, she says, "I love you."

And his response is, "I know that you think you do."

We say we love people -- our spouses, our children, our parents, our friends -- all the time. We say we do, and we're probably telling the truth. At least as far as we know we are.

But love is more than just a warm, gushy feeling. Love often means sacrifice. Love is hoping the best and believing the best. Love is going the extra mile and turning the other cheek. Sometimes love means drawing a line in the sand and saying, "If you cross this line again, I'm leaving." Most often, love means accepting people where they are without trying to change them -- especially when it's against their will.

One of the things I get to do is travel around and help churches become healthier and more strategic. Frequently, I hear churches say things like, "We love the lost people of this community and want to reach out to them."

And my response is: "I know that you think you do."