Gifted to Love People…. Not Things

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others….(1 Peter 4:10).
I have been praying for God to bring full redemption in my heart over those things I love the most. Although God is and has been redeeming many things in my life recently, by providing different opportunities, a book contract, and some volunteer opportunities I said to Him, “Lord, although these opportunities are great, what I miss most is being involved in people’s lives. I miss sitting with a teenager in their pain, listening and offering them the hope of Christ. I miss sitting down with a mom struggling to love her child in their rebellion. I miss those moments when I got to be involved in the lives of people.”
Many of us are looking for opportunities from God, but if our opportunities for God don’t take us further into the lives of loving people I would question if our motives for such pursuits are pure. I’ve done it, pursued things for the purpose of my own self-advancement. Now that God has stripped me of all those things that I loved, including the daily investment of loving teenagers, I am realizing that my greatest pursuit in life is not found in what I can build, achieve or make for myself. My time is best spent investing in and caring for people.
Last night, by God’s grace, I received a message from a young girl that I don’t’ know very well. She opened up to me and shared with me about her struggles. I was able to listen with love, care, and concern. I was able to relate with her and offer hope. I was able to share the good news that Jesus offers hope to the hopeless. This blessed my heart deeply as we talked for over an hour.
If no one is coming to us, sharing their pain, chances are, we’re coming across as having it all together. I’ve been there, living in the place of perfectionism, putting forth a perfect facade. People can’t relate with a mannequin, but they can relate when you show them your heart.
Our lives should be like a lighthouse that leads people towards the love of God. If our light is shining, they’ll reach out, but if we never get out into the world to shine His light and love people, no one will know that within us holds the hope of the world, Jesus Christ our Savior. Today I want to pursue people, not things. I want to see God’s full redemption in my life through the investment of loving people, not gaining things.
Lord, use our lives. May my heart burn so brightly for you that it sings of the name of Jesus. THere’s no other name. It is a great name. Thank you for setting me free. Thank you for giving me purpose. Keep using my life to point others to you, in Jesus name, Amen.

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