I’ve heard them called shoulder taps, or God moments. It’s when the Holy Spirit impresses on your spirit to speak or do something for someone…sometimes a complete stranger. It’s when that still small voice tells you to perform a kind act, or speak words of encouragement into a person’s life. It may not be profound…it may only take a minute of your time…but know that this interaction is divinely arranged…and requires your obedience without hesitation. These shoulder taps are a way that God manifests His love to a lonely and lost world…and what He asks of us is to just hear and obey. So, step out in faith when the Holy Spirit urges you…for you never know the impact you may have on someone’s life.
There are certain things that someone can attempt to describe to us, but until we can experience it for ourselves, we just don’t get it. Take instance, the first time you saw the ocean and that vast expanse of churning water…no amount of prior description someone gave you could even come close to you seeing it with your own eyes. The same thing happens with Jesus. We may hear about Him all our lives…but it’s not until we take that personal step of faith and experience Him, that we can then know true joy, peace and hope in our lives.
The word that stands out in this Scripture to me is the word always…repeated four times in this short sentence. So, what does always really mean? Well, according to Webster, it means, at all times. Thus, this verse shows us what true unselfish love should look like. It’s the type of love that is constantly looking for the good in people…believing in and expecting for the very best. It’s a love that will bear up under a load of misery, adversity, persecution, and provocation with faith, hope, and a smile…thinking of others first. And just like the love of Christ, unselfish love never fails, and never gives up on others.
We have become so accustomed to hearing half-truths, falsehoods, and the spinning of the account to serve ones self…it’s hard to identify truth from lies now a days. Selfish love deliberately mixes truth with falsehoods to best serve the present situation. They conveniently leave out details that might incriminate or point the finger to them…having no regard for others. Selfish love is only interested in its own welfare…not caring how it may impact another person. The love of Christ is glad to tell the truth…the correct and accurate rendition…not the sugar-coated half-truth that might get us out of trouble. Also, unselfish love doesn’t have to remember what story was told to who…if it’s the truth from the beginning.
If you want to see what a person is truly made of…put them in a long line, in the hot sun, waiting for something that may or may not arrive on time. That’s when frustration and impatience boils over into selfish love. This verse is interesting in that all it speaks of are examples of selfish love…of self-centered, looking out for #1 love that only thinks of itself. We all have the opportunity daily to choose what type of love we’ll portray to the world…the love of Christ or the selfish love of the world. And as Believers, we are to be an example of Christ’s love to others…unfortunately, whether we’re a good example or a bad one.
For the next few days I’m going to writing on the familiar verses in the 13th Chapter of I Corinthians, also known as the Love Chapter. These verses tell us what Christian love should look like. But even more importantly, they tell us what selfish self-centered love looks like. The love Jesus taught of was an unconditional agape love…love that is compassionate, and understanding…refusing to retaliate or repay evil with evil. But the love the world teaches of is egotistical, self-absorbed, and arrogant….refusing to put others first. These verses will look at both types of love…selfish and unselfish, and their impact on the world.
Holding my tongue. It might be a very small body part, but it sometimes requires herculean strengthen not to blurt out what I’m thinking!…especially if it’s catty or unkind. And I find if I’m not careful, my manner of speech will quickly start to resemble the non believer group I’m part of…especially if it’s a grip session…or worse yet – a gossip session! One of my favorite Proverbs says, “Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps his mouth shut.” I may be doing a wonderful job serving God…but if my speech says the opposite…it’s all meaningless.