BY: Lynne Dyer
E-MAIL ADDRESS: Lynneldyer@att.net
“‘And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. ‘ No other commandment is greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31, NLT)
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7, NLT)
PERSONAL REFLECTION: I recently read a book called Tattoos on the Heart (Gregory Boyle) about a priest who has devoted his life to ministering with gangs in LA. Notice I said he ministers with and not to these gang members. He lives with them, works side-by-side with them, eats with them, etc. He doesn’t condemn them for their choices but sees deeper into the reasons they do what they do. He lets his own examples lead them down a better path. Sound like someone else you know? Yes, this man has fully embraced the example Jesus set for us. While Jesus was certainly born to judge us for our sins and ultimately die in our place for those same sins, He was also born to live among us in the world. We are also called to live in the world and minister alongside everyone we meet.
Reading this book has changed my perspective of my role in the world. I will likely never live among gangs in LA. I probably won’t ever minister in Bolivia or India. But I do live in the world every day, and as a Christian I am called to minister with those I encounter, both Christians and non-Christians. That was how Jesus did it. He certainly didn’t act like a king, ruling those around him. He didn’t go around pointing his finger at every sinner he encountered (which was every person walking the face of the earth). He served. He loved. And he died. That’s the way I want to live every day. I want to go to work and minister with my co-workers, Christian or not. I want to minister with my family. I want to minister with the people I encounter at Kroger, at the mall, and at Wal-Mart (yes, even people of Wal-mart). I want to experience the world through the eyes of my Savior so I see every person as worthy of my time and my love.
PRAYER: Dear Lord, Please help me to truly live as Jesus did. Allow me to see each person I encounter through your eyes. Take away my judgment of others and replace it with love. Show me opportunities to minister with my fellow humans. In Jesus’ Precious Name, Amen
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Lynne is wife to Ronnie, mother to Rachel, Matthew, stepmother to Ginger, and grandmother to Sarah-Beth, TJ, and Carson. She is employed as a project manager for Resource Recovery Consultants, and she is enjoying developing her second career after homeschooling for sixteen years. Her favorite thing to do is to spend time with her husband.