You’re The ‘Straw’

This is an extremely intense time for us. When I say “us” I mean our country. Look around you. So many are suffering in some form. Look at the people around you in the checkout line. Do you see them? I mean really SEE them. Look in their eyes and observe their countenance.

You could be the one to change it but you choose which way it will go. Will you lift them up or will you bring them down? You could really make a difference in someone’s day.

Problem is, we’re so caught up in your stuff blinded by our circumstances that we don’t see the hurts of others. We don’t know what others are going through and let’s be honest. Most of the time we don’t care.

I watched with a broken heart as someone hurting was made to feel worse by the way they were treated when paying a bill. The clerk chastised her for being late when the woman apparently was doing the best she could. She told us in the line that had she paid the bill on time she would have had no groceries and no gas for the car she used to get to work, the job of course providing for her family.

Where’s our compassion and consideration for others? I couldn’t help but wonder what the woman behind the counter would do and how she would feel if their roles were reversed.

If you’re not suffering right now, great. But remember those around you are and tomorrow it could be you.  Please act accordingly.

Christian, we’re not here for us. We’re here…”in it” for them. Consider yourself “the straw” every time you open your mouth to speak. You could make or break anyone you encounter. You could be a bright spot or more darkness in their shaky world. Which will you be?

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Self-Perspective

One of my gifts is encouragement. God has blessed me to see the good in everything and everyone. If you need a positive word, I’m your girl…about you. For some reason I just can’t seem to find much positive in myself. What is that?! I’ve talked to complete strangers, people in jail, people who’ve committed bad offenses and had no trouble finding kind and soothing words for them. When I mess up or present myself as less than perfect I have no mercy for me.

The Bible says to “love your neighbor as yourself”. What if you don’t love you? I’ve asked that question for years and have never gotten an answer. How can you love others if you don’t love yourself. Here’s how I process all that.

I give to others what I’d like to have.  Kindness, consideration, respect as a person. I’ve given coats, money, and myself because if I were in the situations I’ve witnessed I hope someone would do the same for me. I really try to treat others as I would like to be treated. I’ve put myself behind those I love in order to see to their needs just because it was the right thing to do. Sometimes I found myself used, lied to and manipulated and my feelings were hurt afterward but at the end of it, I had peace and can say I would do it again.

Love is rewarding and after all isn’t that the point? My perspective is that when you give your best to someone who’s hurting or needing you’re giving the best of yourself which is ultimate love. Our society says to do what we do for ourselves; Christianity says to do what we do for others. Polar opposites. Which is more rewarding and allows us to live with our choices more peacefully?

So wait. Maybe I’m not so bad to myself. Maybe I bless myself more than I think I do because lifting others up, making their day brighter and seeing them smile on their difficult journey is fulfilling and rewarding. Hmmm. Maybe I’m not as messed up as I sometimes think I am!