What Does Real Love Look Like?
"And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’" Matthew 25:40 (ESV)
She’s a name-dropper.
The kind of woman who always needs the world to know what famous person tweeted at her, liked her post or followed her on Instagram. She’s always at the important meetings, the ones where the people in charge see her. And she schedules lunches and coffee dates with people who can take her career further.
We all know this woman. She’s our neighbor. Our co-worker. Our ministry leader. She’s everywhere.
And maybe, at times, there’s a little bit of this woman in each of us.
The world tells us in order to go higher we must surround ourselves with people who will take us higher. Our mommas taught us at a young age we will become like those we keep close. And in high school we grouped together with people who were like-minded.
While I understand the importance of keeping company with the right kind of people, I see Jesus taking a different approach at times as I study His life in the Bible.
It’s true Jesus had good friends like His disciples, Mary, Martha and Lazarus. But as I look closely at the steps of Jesus, I see He invested a lot of His time into the "least of these:" the poor, the hungry, the broken, the weak and the people who had absolutely nothing to offer Him.
Jesus always had a genuine concern and focus on people in need.
If we are always surrounding ourselves with the "best of these," how will we ever truly learn to love the least of these?
It’s an honest question to reflect on as we go about our days, make our schedules and choose where to invest our energy. But I don’t really know if in Jesus’ eyes this concept of serving the least of these is optional.
Do I always get this right? Goodness no.
My excuses for a lack of service to those in need are shameful:
- I’m too busy.
- I already give so much.
- I don’t have what they need.
- I forgot.
God blesses us so that we may bless others. May we be compelled to take our eyes off ourselves and turn our heads to the right and to the left. Let us see those around us in need and give whatever we have to bless them.
Here are three ways to do this right now:
- Spend time with someone who has nothing to give back to you.
- Ask God if there’s anything you have in your possession that could bless someone else. Maybe it’s a coat, a pair of shoes, a purse, jewelry … what can you give up to bless another?
- Write a note of encouragement to someone who is down, sick or weary. Tell her specific things you are praying over her life.
We don’t always need to be with the "best of the best." There is life, love and opportunities to expand our souls if we will humble ourselves and become just a little bit more like Jesus today and serve the least of these.
God, help us to see those in need today. Help our lives ring loudly as we take steps to serve others more than ourselves. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Hebrews 6:10, "God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them." (NIV)
1 John 3:18, "Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth." (NIV)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Why do you think we are naturally drawn toward surrounding ourselves with "the best of the best"?
What is one thing you will do this week to focus on the "least of these"?