Updated: Sep 9, 2019
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
- John 13:35 NIV
I used to think that becoming a Christian meant that you would live a sinless life. That's far from the truth. Christianity doesn't guarantee a sinless life, but as we continue to walk with God, we'll sin less.
I was rushing home late Friday night. Exhausted was an understatement—it was just that kind of a week. About half a block away from my house, a lady who was recycling cans and plastic bottles for cash stopped me to ask for the time.
But my phone was in my backpack.
I really (REALLY) didn’t want to take my backpack off because my hands were cold, and I was keeping them warm in my coat pockets. And to be honest, it was late, and she looked a little sketchy at first glance.
The excuses in my mind went on and on.
“I don’t have the time ... at this moment,” I said to her.
As I was verbally vomiting on her with a very fleshly excuse, God spoke to me and said, "They'll know you by your love." It literally would only take 15 seconds for me to pull out my phone and tell her the time. Even if it took more time than that, If I can help someone, why wouldn't I, right?
“One second,” I said. I took off my backpack, pulled out my phone, and gave her the time. She said thank you and walked away.
“Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them.
If you can help your neighbor now, don’t say, 'Come back tomorrow, and then I’ll help you.'”
- Proverbs 3:27-28
I was thinking about that situation, and God reminded me that as Christians we are to live for the benefit of others. Most of the time that means that we have to intentionally go out of our way and sacrifice our own desires to show the love of God to others.
Jesus always had time for people. If we ask ourselves, what would Jesus do in any given situation, loving on purpose will always be the answer.
Yes, you might have somewhere to go, but is holding the elevator door open for the person who you (pretended not to) see entering the building really going to make you that much later? I know you may be tired, but is helping a mom carry her stroller up the subway stairs really going to make you more tired? That's me talking to me.
It doesn't take much effort to do something good. Sometimes it's the simplest acts of kindness that can make a profound difference in someone's life.
I challenge you today to live a lifestyle of love ... on purpose. You may not have always gotten this love thing right, but who cares. Today is a brand new day, and you have an opportunity to do better than yesterday. So go do great things!
Bob Goff said it well, love does.
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You were born to do great things.