The other day I was sitting at Mozart's on Lake Austin enjoying some coffee by the lake. There were three women sitting in front of me and a young gentleman at his own table to my right. These ladies were gossiping about their neighbors and how they were sure they were at least separated but likely getting a divorce. They were discussing the last time they saw their car in the drive way and how they could hear them screaming at each other while arguing.
The young gentleman next to me kindly walked up to their table, knelt down and in a very quiet voice said "Ladies I don't mean to get in your business but I think you should pray for your neighbors." These ladies were so shocked and speechless. This young man could not have said it any nicer and with more respect. He was not trying to butt into their conversation and was definitely not being rude. He genuinely felt convicted to ask them to pray for their neighbor. The three ladies immediately pretended as if it was time to leave and they quietly got up and left.
As I sat there and watched this all take place I could not help but smiling over the fact that this young guy stepped up and took a chance to spread God's word. He took a negative situation and offered the most valuable advice one could give. It's so sad when you think about how we always want to make ourselves feel better by bringing up what other people are doing wrong. Wouldn't it be nice if we just loved our neighbor? How about loving our neighbor so much that we would spend our time with God asking Him to help out someone else besides ourselves? How about loving our neighbor so much that we would desire for things in their life to improve rather than being entertained by their struggles?
The next morning I was participating in wonderful ministry called "Feed My People" and an older man walked up to me to have me serve him coffee and said, "You know how much it means to me that you looked at me in line and smiled? Such a small thing can really make a difference." I honestly did not even remember smiling at the man. Have you ever stopped and thought about how such small actions can have such a huge affect on people?
Loving your neighbor is really about caring for others more than you care about yourself. Its about understanding your role in God's kingdom and knowing that your job is to reflect His greatness in every way possible. Jesus was a man that smiled at people. Jesus was a man that was always lending a helping hand to a lost sole. He pursues everyone including the person that no one else will pursue.
Loving your neighbor could be a simple smile or a fist pump of encouragement on the trail. It could be a small donation to a family in need or a phone call to the person that wronged you. Loving your neighbor is about throwing your own personal feelings or comforts aside for someone else. Loving your neighbor is what we are called to do.
Your neighbor is not only the person that lives next to you. Its the city of Bastrop that neighbors Austin. Its your co-worker, its the people that live in your community and the communities all around. Loving your neighbor is also loving your enemy or the person you despise the most. Loving your neighbor is about loving God and being the hands and feet of God in our community.
"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven"~ Mathew 5: 14-16
Have any neighbors that could use some love?
Strugglin' with you
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
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