August 22, 2021
- By Ed Powell
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"Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." Ephesians 5:1-2
It's amazing how smart we are! We can assess a situation and give our evaluation without hesitation. We are so wise and discerning, we can appraise almost anything and anybody. Have you ever realized how great we are? Many occasions confront us in which we are "quick to judge" and we offer our "wisdom." But let me ask you, "Have you 'walked in the shoes' of the one you are so quick to judge or criticize?" Put yourself in their shoes...how would you react?
We hear people say, "Oh, I know what you are going through, and I will be praying for you." Let me ask you, "Have you been through the mental, physical, or emotional distress they are going through? Have you lost a child who was abused or killed? Have you lost your home or your life's savings through fraud or theft? Have you been told you have some life-threatening illness?" UNLESS WE HAVE BEEN THERE we have no right to say, "I know what you are going through" because we do not! We have not "walked in their shoes!"
RECOGNIZE...we are not so smart, not very wise, and certainly, not in a position to evaluate and express our opinion in so many of life's tragedies. So, HOW SHOULD WE REACT?
First...HAVE A HEART THAT SIMPLY LISTENS. Listen to the brokenness of their life. Do not be quick with shallow and frivolous answers, but, in grace and longsuffering, seek "to feel the beat of their heart." Come alongside them, embrace them with love, identify with them in their need, and let them know you care!
Second...PRAY WITH THEM...that they may realize that God loves them, and will be their sufficiency in this heart-rending experience. Pray that they will dare to trust Him IN this encounter. God will take the broken pieces of their lives and make something beautiful out of them. God is faithful (1 Corinthians 10: 13).
Third...GENUINELY BE THEIR FRIEND. Thoughtfully, give of your time and assistance and manifest the love of God through your actions. Be a true and continuous friend who will be there when the storm clouds gather later in their lives. Be one to whom they can bare the burden of their hearts...who will respond with godly love, understanding, and compassion.
Fourth...BE AN ENCOURAGER to one who is scraping the bottom, and desperately needs that word of support and concern to lift their spirit so they will try again or plough through this tragic loss or bravely dare to trust God IN this devastating experience. They need your words of encouragement!
How different it is when we HAVE WALKED IN THEIR SHOES! May we be very sensitive to their loss or tragedy, and respond as the Lord leads us. Such times are occasions God has provided for us to be a blessing, encouragement, and inspiration as in no other time. Have "eyes to see" the stress of their life..."ears to hear" the cry of their heart...and a "heart to respond" to the tragedy they are experiencing. May we be led by the Holy Spirit to reach out to THESE whom God has placed in OUR path and let HIM use us...TO TOUCH THEM WITH THE LOVE OF GOD!
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php?row=&date=2021-08-22
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