Candy and I spent most of the morning writing back and forth about questions regarding the definition of Christians and evangelicals and current events that troubled her. While we may not have the same political leanings that does not prevent us from having honest and prolonged discussion. She ended our time with kind words and greetings to my family. Candy is one of the most warm-hearted persons I know and it is always a privilege to be around her.
Psalm 69:20—Insults have broken my heart, and I am in despair. I waited for sympathy, but there was none; for comforters, but found no one.
Philippians 4:10—I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that once again you renewed your care for me. You were, in fact, concerned about me but lacked the opportunity to show it.
How sad that we live in times where civility seems to be a disdained concept. Ideological disagreements should never lead to or justify rudeness, shouting or name-calling. Nor do political victories justify gloating. When these occur, we know that Jesus is not in the equation. A close examination of the life of Jesus shows that He was never mean to those with whom He disagreed. He always spoke truth but in the context of love and from an understanding heart. He attacked sin, not the sinner.
When Jesus invades the very marrow of our bones and becomes our inspiring Savior what should emphatically begin to change is the way wetreat people. Followers of Jesus care about people. We see this from the words of the Apostle Paul who was joyful despite his painful circumstances because the Philippians showed concern for his welfare. Contrast his feelings with those of David who at a trying time in his life revealed great pain in Psalm 69 for the way he was treated by others. “Those who sit at the city gate talk about me, and drunkards make up songs about me” (69:12). One can surmise from him that songs from drunkards are not thoughtful.
Heartfelt concern for others is like good medicine. When we listen so as to understand (even if we don’t agree) we create goodwill. Affinity is the byproduct of a love foundation; an ineluctable result of seeking the best for people because we know that God seeks us out and forgives us despite our unworthiness. If we cannot be sincere with people who are without Christ, what in heaven’s name will attract them to our Father? May God forgive us for getting so caught up in being right that we forget to be kind.
To be heartfelt requires dying to self and all the inexhaustible needs we possess. It means to be genuine in listening, authentic in responding and real in concern for others. It is what we want from others so let us not hesitate to give it first for God’s glory.
I believe caring is one of the greatest success strategies of all.—Jon Gordon and Mike Smith in You Win In The Locker Room First
©2018 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)