"If you don't see the real me, you won't see what love has won..." Vota

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Do you notice?

I have what I consider a pretty big flaw in my character especially for someone who claims to live for Christ and tries so hard to do just that. See the thing is I would literally do anything in my realm of capabilities to help someone, but-- and here is the flaw-- it has to be brought to my attention.

I have known this about myself and have justified it by saying things like, "I am just so preoccupied with running my life that I live life with blinders on". I also am very, very aware that I have several friends who are as busy if not 100x more so who do notice when someone needs help or is even about to need help and without any questions does not offer to help, but helps without even asking.

You know how hard it is to actually say "yes" for some people when they are asked if they need help. I am one of those people. I hate to cause anyone any undue stress by asking for or accepting their offer for help. BUT when someone just jumps in and helps me I am so grateful to God for sending them to me at just the right moment.

"What am I getting at", you might ask? This morning my daily devotions brought me to really think about how I encourage others daily. It also encouraged me to notice those around me and be looking for those who may need help, an encouraging word, a bill paid, a hug, or any other burden lifted, and then to do what I love to do-- serve them with a smile.

Jesus says, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you... (Matthew 7:12)". I would not ask or even think many times to point blank draw attention to the fact that I need help, so why should I wait for others to do just that before I helped them? Another thing Jesus says is that the second most important thing in being a follower of Him is to love your neighbor as yourself. "Your neighbor" is not just the person living next door, but the person next to us in life-- you know the person standing behind us in the supermarket, parked beside us at the Wal-Mart, sitting next to us at the doctor's office, or chatting us up at church... There are an unlimited number of neighbors we can encounter on any given day. We are to love them as much as we love ourselves and do for them what we would like done for us. (Just a note: I have a friend whose little boy loves to be wrestled and roughed up, so he uses this verse to wrestle and rough up his neighbors. He is out there craving action and this is fun for him so he thinks it would be fun for others as well. So be aware of the fact that others may not like exactly the same thing as you, but for the most part we are all alike in our desires to be encouraged. Don't just go punch some little old lady in the shoulder as an encouraging gesture just because you would take that shoulder punch as one.)

Speaking of that I once heard a liberal media person talking bad about Christians who go around doing unto others as they would have done to them and that what we should do instead is, "Do unto others as they want to be done to". This is kind of what I have been doing. Waiting to be asked and directed into how to serve the person, but I honestly don't think it is Biblical even in the slightest.

Lord, help me to stop putting myself first and to notice the needs of others before they have to ask for help. Help me to serve others as You would serve them and as You want to be served-- with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. In the parable of the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25), Jesus says, "...Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." So if I serve begrudgingly, reluctantly then we serve You this way as well. If I serve others with all that is in me, then I serve You this way as well. Help me to serve in such a way that You are glorified by my thoughts, efforts and actions.

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