It happened years ago, yet still I remember how humbling the experience was…and the lesson I learned from it. I had received a phone call from a stranger. The person on the other end of the line was hard to understand. Their words were choppy and they seemed abrupt and loud as they spoke. I was frustrated after minutes of our discussion. I cannot remember exactly how our discussion ended or even what they wanted, but I do know that I learned afterwards that the caller was handicapped and had difficulty speaking. I felt the size of a worm for getting agitated at them. But you see, I didn’t know, so I’m innocent, right? I couldn’t see them…how was I to know they had a handicap? Seeing or not, Scripture tells us that if I’m showing love, I will be longsuffering (I Corinthians 13). I need to see with Christ-like love.
Let’s think about some others we don’t “see” with whom we need to show the I Corinthians kind of love.
What about the person who is poking along in front of us on our way home from work. We shake our finger towards his car and mutter, “The speed limit is 55, mister! Why are you doing 35? Can’t you see I want to get home?” But what we don’t see is that he’s been diagnosed with macular degeneration, and he feels safe enough to drive in the area right around his house, albeit a little slower than he used to go. If we’d have known that, would we have been a little more understanding? We need to “see” with Christ-like love.
The woman that checked you out when you went shopping at Target didn’t even say hello! As a matter of a fact, she didn’t even smile when she took care of you! You leave the store mumbling about how rude people are nowadays. But you didn’t see that her husband lost his job and she’s burdened down with the weight of now being the sole provider for their family. We need to see with Christ-like love.
Your boss hibernates in his office today and seems exceptionally demanding. He seldom comes out, but only sends messages to give directions. Does he not believe in being personal with his employees? You and other coworkers give him the “what-for” in the break room. What you don’t see is that his wife filed for divorce last night and his heart is broken. It reminds him of the day his dad left when he was and child and he’s wondering if anyone could ever really love him. We need to see with Christ-like love.
Last weekend when you attended your favorite college football game, the guys in front of you were foul-mouthed. They yelled profanities, drank beer, and smoked in the stands, regardless that those around them asked them to stop. They all had jobs. They were all healthy, but not one of them had ever trusted Christ as their Savior because they’d never seen up close what it looks like when Christ’s love really changes a person. Would that change today because you saw them with Christ-like love?
If we’re honest, we’d admit that we all feel like we’re entitled to “nice” people around us. Good treatment is what we expect, but when it doesn’t happen, let’s stop and listen and truly see what Christ would see. It could be something far deeper, something that is there that is crying out for Christ-like love. May we each see that need and may we love with that kind of love.
How have you seen Christ’s love in others today?
Here’s how you can show love to your pastor and husband today:
Pastor Encouragement: Pray that God will bring godly friends and encouragers to your pastor and family to strengthen them for the ministry and provide meaningful fellowship and times of rest.
Husband Encouragement: Men respond to women who respect them. What do you respect about your husband? Is it his ability to plan, lead, show mercy, mediate peace, or delegate? Does he keep things organized or invest in others? If you feel there is nothing to respect, search harder … nearly every man has some core characteristic that can be nurtured and respected. In any case, you must still cultivate a submissive spirit to his position of leadership “as to the Lord.” Part of showing respect includes submission to his authority: “For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior” (Eph. 5:23).
Action Step: Demonstrate respect. Show your respect in public by listening to him and smiling at him when he speaks. Place your hand in his as you walk together. Seek his opinion on decisions you need to make or conversations you need to have with others. Tell him that you need his support, insight, care, and love.