Read 1 John 3:11-24."Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." NIV
John wraps up this section with a "So what?" So love one another like Christ showed love to us. People all around us today are hurting -- physically, emotionally, and spiritually. There are so many more hurts than "Band-Aids" to fix them. Sometimes, it can seem really overwhelming. There are some people who can think globally and start organizations that help many people at one time. Not all of us are equipped to do that. But we all can love one person at a time. Today, in this moment, I can make a difference for this one.
I thought I knew how to love people and that I was actually doing it. But I was wrong. I have always been a bit of a hermit. Being an introvert, spending time with people exhausts me. I have to plan in alone time afterwards just to recharge. Therefore, I tend to limit a lot of "people" time. God is teaching me the selfishness of that thinking. He is all about people and therefore so should I.
The Lord has strongly been working on this with me over the past 6 months or so. But it really came home when my mom died. I shared back then about what it meant for me to have so many people praying for me during those last 10 days with Mom. I literally felt the prays holding me up like I have never felt others' prayers before. Then the outpouring of sympathy and love was overwhelming. It truly showed me the value of "being there" for others. Well, I couldn't walk away from being the recipient of such love and not find ways to give back.
Since then, the Lord has really opened my eyes to people and their needs. He's helped me to stop and take the time to really listen and not offer solutions, but to give empathy, a hug, a tear, and a heart melting with another's heart. Don't misunderstand; I've not got this all dialed in. I feel like I'm just taking baby steps. But I know I'm walking in the right direction.
- Flip through the gospels and review how Jesus saw people's needs and met them. Does this challenge your paradigm of loving others?
- Read this story.
- I know I posted this song recently, but it really fits here. So here it is again. Give Me Your Love by Brandon Heath.
- Have you prayed for God to open your eyes to others' needs? It's an amazing step to take. Just be prepared -- the floodgates will open, and it's messy.