The right answer sometimes isn’t in the words we speak but in just being there for people—in caring for them, loving them.
Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. —1 John 3:18 (niv)
I gave my students an assignment to explain a major challenge facing people of faith today, in thirty seconds or less, and to be creative! The first two students stood up, and, after briefly naming some challenges that parents face today (peer pressure, cultural differences, obesity, depression, school issues), they put their arms around each other and said nothing. For twenty seconds, there was simply silence. Finally, one of them said, “One of the big challenges for people of faith is answering too fast and loving too slow.”
As a teacher, I’ve committed my life to helping students know and care about right answers. But there are days when I’m reminded again that the right answer sometimes isn’t in the words that we speak, but in just being there for people, caring for them, loving them.
That’s the professor’s lesson for today—one he learned from his students. Class dismissed.
Help me know what to say to a friend in need, God, and to know when just being present is enough.
Written by Jeff Japinga
Digging Deeper: Eph 4:29; Jas 1:19