"Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently."
1 Peter 1:22
There are some very interesting and cool things here... one of them is that it seems that we purify our souls through obedience to the truth. that is an interesting thought... as we struggle through the challenges of this life, trying to be obedient, we knock off the rough edges and polish up our souls. :) like fighting upstream in a river... the river is going to wash away anything that isn't part of you... and you have to want it really badly to not float downstream. and when we are in there long enough, we're going to get all polished up like the cool little river rocks. when we finally arrive at our destination we will arrive with fire and determination, completely cleansed of anything that didn't help us to get there... plus we'll be the most awesome swimmers that ever were. :) now, if you don't like swimming, you can substitute your own analogy... I think it really works with almost any serious goal in life... writing a novel for instance. it takes focus, determination... getting rid of distractions, consistent effort... and editing and re-editing, until, in the end... you have a refined product... the manuscript, but also yourself. the process makes you better, more focused... polished. :) or just living... trying to be obedient... polishes you. I took a jewelry class a few summers ago and the polishing machine was interesting... you put a piece of rough jewelry in there, and then you put in a bunch of similar things... if it was a rock, you put in a lot of little rocks. if it was silver, you put in a bunch of little silver things... (they sell the "things" in the jewelry catalog, but I can't remember what they are called, sorry)... and then you turn it on... and they mosh up against each other, and whatever you put in comes out shiny and polished. We do that for one another. Just hanging out in the world... with people like ourselves... we become more polished people.
The other thing that I like about this scripture is that we are supposed to love one another "fervently." Isn't that the greatest word? We love so conservatively sometimes, I don't know what it is... fear of rejection... reluctance to commit... trying to establish an overabundance of boundaries... who knows. But fervently, I like... and obviously God does. :) The other day my roommate came home and she threw her arms around me and said hello. :) A friend at work says almost every day to me: "You are awesome." ... fervently. When we love people, they should KNOW it, don't you think? Know it in a big, definite way. We save all the fervency for romantic relationships... what an utter waste. Okay, not a waste... but miserly? Everyone in our lives should know that they are cool, that we love them... that they are valued and amazing individuals. So what if it is scary...? Be fervent today. Go out, tell people how amazing they are... tell them how much you love them. Tell them that they are amazing and funny and cool... tell them that they are the rock-solid consistency that you need in your life. Tell them that they make you laugh. Tell them that they save you from yourself when no one else will. Tell them that you admire their honesty even when it smarts a little.... be expressive, be caring... make sure that they know that they are loved. Fervent is the word of the day.