People, Not Projects

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Lynn Cowell teaches us that people, not projects, need to be our priority. That's when we are fulfilling the great commandment to love.

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:29, 31-32 (NIV)

If I could just avoid people who are hard to love my life would be so much easier.

I couldn’t believe I had just had that thought. Really, Lynn? Avoid people? Getting through my to-do list and getting to the weekend can easily become a one-way road I hop on come Monday morning. Though I would have never voiced it, the fact that I thought avoiding people was an answer to getting through my goals each day seriously concerned me. This thought revealed something I didn’t want to see about me: I can easily become all about me.

Hearing my own thoughts showed me I was missing it big time. It is not all about me; life is about Jesus and Jesus is all about loving people.

Today’s verse in Ephesians 4:32 says we are to be kind and compassionate to one another. In order for me to be kind and compassionate, I have to be around people who need to be shown kindness and compassion. And most of the time, this is not going to be convenient. What they need to receive and what I need to give is love.

1 Corinthians 13:4 defines love: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

God’s word gives us clarity with every day examples of what love looks like. It looks like Jesus.

He went out of His way to speak to a hurting woman drawing water for the day (John 4). Stopped to heal a man ignored by most (John 5). Instead of saying it wasn’t His responsibility, He chose to feed 5,000. (John 6) He stands up for the woman no one else would have compassion on (John 8). He washes the dirty feet of those who should have served Him (John 13).

No matter what His schedule for the day held, Jesus put others first. People, not projects were most important. The hurting, the humble, the hungry…they all came to the head of His list of importance.

As today’s verse reminds us, I want to be kind and compassionate, even when it doesn’t “fit in my schedule”. People, not projects, need to be my priority. That’s when I am fulfilling the great commandment of love.

And I know, when people not projects, become my priority, my kids will see. It won’t be a matter of teaching them the greatest commandment, they’ll see. And hopefully, they’ll do the same.

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