When life's busyness hurries us through our days, it's easy to forget to love others through tangible actions. We may think of ways to reach out—a word of encouragement, a gift, or an invitation—but we almost never have a convenient opportunity to do it, so we don't follow-through on our well-wishing thoughts. As much as we wish that "it's the thought that counts" were true, we need to stop rationalizing our failure to act in love and start doing it!
Here are 3 thoughts on loving others:
Loving others requires intentional and decisive action.
Start to translate your kind thoughts into actions before a deluge of distractions knocks them into the back of your mind and the bottom of your to-do list. If necessary, evaluate your priorities throughout your day. There may never be a convenient opportunity to show love, so preemptively choose to make heartfelt actions a priority over the pressure to hurry through life. Commit Hebrews 3:13 to your mind and recall it when you are tempted to hurry past the chance to love: "But encourage each other daily, while it is still called today, so that none of you is hardened by sin’s deception".
Loving others requires sight.
Throughout the gospels, Christ demonstrated the incredible ability to see individual's needs despite the distractions of the crowd. Through the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), Jesus taught us to respond to needs with love, rather than passing by our neighbor in a self-focused hurry. Pray that the Lord will open your eyes to the opportunities to love others.
Loving others requires boldness.
If you feel the Lord leading you to serve or encourage someone, don't think your way out of it. Don't second-guess whether it is a good idea. Don't make assumptions to excuse yourself from taking action. Do whatever the Spirit is prompting you to do with boldness. If you fail to act on the Holy Spirit's prompting, you may miss an encounter in which God wanted to use you.
Self Disclosure: There are many moments that I do not feel motivated to love others! My self-centered focus tempts me to disobey God's will and choose to follow my selfish desires over my inclinations to love others. I was recently convicted of my selfish attitude through two trips to two major cities. I was quick to hurry past the homeless, despite the desire to acknowledge them in some small way. I let rationalization, ignorance, and fear prevent me from loving those people. I can't even count how many opportunities that I may have missed to do some small act of encouragement on those two trips! Thank God that His mercy is new every morning, and I can try to love better today!
Let's love with action!
Who is that one person God is telling you to love? (If you're already trying to rationalize a way out, that's a clear sign that you need to take decisive action!)
What act of kindness or service can you do to show love to them?
Don't put it off!
Written By: Ally Franklin
Ally Franklin is a military wife, writer, and student of God's Word. She blogs about walking worthy of Christ's calling at satisfiedwithhoney.weebly.com. You can stay up-to-date on her latest posts by 'liking' her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/satisfiedwithhoneyblog.