2008-07-11 - Letting God Lead
Ring, ring. A look at the caller ID box made me hesitate about answering the phone. I knew who it was and what she wanted, to gripe about how unfair life was. I sighed before uttering hello.
I try to be a sympathetic listener, but many times I have to squelch the no-holds-barred advisor inside me. How can we tell others the truth, even when they aren't asking for it?
Ephesians 4:15 tells us to speak the truth in love. That may be difficult at times, but as believers in Christ; we have no choice. The Bible is filled with commands on loving each other (see John 13:34, 15:12, and Romans 13:8 as examples).
First John 4:7 and 20 declare, "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. If anyone says, 'I love God,' yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen." (NIV)
The Scriptures tell us to be loving, but doesn't say how to be loving to the unlovable.
Showing mercy to others is automatic, when we love God. It's when our feelings get in the way, and we focus on the needy person's proud attitude, that I need more God and less Lisa.
The next time a selfish friend or a pesky salesman phones; I won't be as leery to pick up the receiver. I will take my cue from the Bible, and truly show love to those genuinely in need, regardless of what my feelings and emotions are telling me.
Lord, Lead my life today. I set aside my agenda and my schedule, and ask that You direct my steps. Show me how to put other people's needs ahead of my own, when appropriate. Help me to not see kindness as a duty or an obligation, but a privilege and another expression of You loving us. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.