cherish life.

I will say one thing, I am a fan of the great “world change” movement that has become a nationwide pandemic, mostly among aspiring Christian leaders, but really all over the US in the twenty-something generation. Of course, I love world relief efforts, the Message, and as Paul would say “bearing the failings of the weak.” I understand that it’s the call of the Gospel, and all (again with emphasis, ALL) Christians are indebted to it. More so than being indebted to it, we should desire it.

 It’s a good thing, this passion for change, but I do have a major concern: the reputation of your witness in your venture to love the world. Many people are completely unaware that they lack the renewed mind/heart that we are to strive to have at all times. Might I remind you that being a servant overseas (and I am speaking to myself, even), spending hours a day brainstorming about your latest idea for change, or developing a nonprofit does not exempt you from the day to day responsibilities to serve everyone around us. I’m not talking about the poor down the street. That’s the “bigger picture”, right? Nope, I’m talking about your neighbor, your friends, your family, etc.

 It is so easy to criticize and to judge, to mistreat and to abuse, and to find yourself excused from daily loving your friends. It hurts to sacrifice, and many of us are missing it completely. We’re not encouraging each other, we’re complaining about what they’re doing wrong. Instead of looking to invest in the people closest to us, we’re looking to find faults. We get too comfortable with our friends and forget that they deserve to be served just as well as everyone else does.

 I started thinking about it when I first read this scripture in Romans 12:17-18, “Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everybody.”

 It’s not contingent upon what they are doing for you and how much they deserve it, because we don’t do to reciprocate. The concept is to always do right in the eyes of everyone all the time.

 It’s so important to reach the lost, hurting, broken and starving, but it’s also crucial that we don’t neglect our own body because each member belongs to all the rest. Don’t ever get so comfortable in your friendships or marriage that you forget to be a listener, a provider, a giver, a lover, an empathizer, a servant and a constant friend.

 We need to be rooted in love so deep that our heart burns for everyone. Not just those in hopeless situations. Our actions in the bigger picture could easily be negated by the friends we routinely interact with. What we do speaks a lot about who we are. All those scriptures about doing good, serving others, loving everyone didn’t just mean the poor or foreign cultures. It meant everyone. And the body of Christ is where we build, create, grow, learn and strengthen.

 So start at with those surrounding you…Be reputable. Be sincere. Be genuine. Be humble. Cherish life in all forms and at all times.

 Yours with love,

k

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~ by Kristen Bell on August 10, 2009.

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