Others Centered

“But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”—Hebrews 13:16 (NKJV)
 
Life is filled with juxtapositions. I have a habit of convincing myself that if I give away some of what I have, I’ll end up with less for myself. It is a mindset that begins with worry and oftentimes ends with greed. After all, if I don’t fend for myself, who will?
 
It’s about that time that I am led to consider Paul’s instructions to the New Testament church: “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith” (Galatians 6:9-10 NASB).
 
Why would Paul begin by admonishing them to “not lose heart”? All too often, our investment in others either goes unnoticed or unappreciated. Paul is reminding these new believers that as we do for others, we do as unto God Himself.
 
Ever open a door for someone only to have them sail through as though you are invisible? To my shame, I’ve even caught myself saying, “You’re welcome!” as they go by. What if instead I saw that person as one made in the image of God? Would I open a door for Jesus? You bet!
 
Divine appointments have a way of reminding us that God truly is in charge. I grabbed a ride with an Uber driver the other day. During our thirty minutes together, I learned this gentleman had left the church long ago due to a disagreement with a member of the clergy. Having divorced and lost his business, he found himself depressed and turning to alcohol at night. We had a wonderful talk that ended with him agreeing to meet me in church the following week. Reflecting on the journey, I realized it wasn’t so much that he needed me as I needed him in order to respond as Jesus would. His need helped me meet an expectation that God requires of me! Imagine the dichotomy. By the end of our time together, we both felt blessed for the “chance encounter.”
 
Investing in self will occasionally yield earthy returns, but devotion to others continually produces eternal rewards. The next time you open a door for someone, recognize that you are doing so for the Lord.
 
DIG: Does sacrifice make it hard for you to serve others? What is the root cause for that?
 
DISCOVER: Can you recall a time when you were in need and someone showed up to lift that weight? What was your initial response?
 
DISPLAY: Do you know someone who needs help? Pray and ask God how you could be used to alleviate his or her burden.

About the Author

Jeff Denis