Mar. 4 - How to be Extraordinarily Loving
It’s human nature for us to want to be above average in some way – maybe more athletic, better looking, funnier, or richer than the next guy. As followers of Christ there IS a way that we can rise above the pack: God calls us to be the most loving people on earth. It’s easy to say we want to be extraordinarily loving, but the second we head out onto Powell Road and someone cuts us off in traffic, “loving” is no longer the first word in our minds. Fortunately, Greg provided us with some great ways to put this command into practice in our daily lives:
1. When in doubt, ask. Maybe your coworker is struggling with something, but you don’t want to seem nosy or intrusive by prying into their business. You don’t need to ask for details. You can simply ask “What can I do to be a blessing to you right now?” This may open the door for you to show them what God’s love looks like in action. Most of the time, people will give you insight into unique little ways you can be a blessing to them. But be cautious, because what they think they need may not be what God wants for them. Pray for wisdom and discernment that we can show the kind of sacrificial love to others that Jesus displayed here on earth. As He said:
John 3:34-35 A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
2. Expend time and energy on the welfare of others. Showing this kind of love will take an effort on our parts. It may cut into our time, reduce our personal economy, or be emotionally trying, but trust that God will use your act to be a blessing to everyone involved.
James 2:14-17 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
3. Challenge people in underdeveloped areas of their lives. If a friend is struggling with greed, infidelity, jealousy or any sin that is equally detrimental to their spiritual lives, the most loving thing we can do is to confront that. It may create awkwardness and discomfort in that relationship, but God calls us to come to them with a loving, selfless heart and help guide them towards what Christ wants for them. And don’t allow underdeveloped areas in your life stop you from challenging others.
Matthew 19:21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
4. And finally, Pursue your God-given passions and invite others along.
Challenge yourself to be extraordinarily loving to everyone you encounter. Seek ways to lovingly help others in the underdeveloped areas of their lives. What a beautiful way to be a part of Christ’s kingdom!