When other people breathe easier
Francois (not his real name) sent me the following message:
On radio a psychologist used the following expression. It really made me think: “Be the kind of person who make people breathe easier when they walk away from you.”
The world outside puts so much pressure on us! People struggle to keep standing under all the pressure. How much pressure can we alleviate if we love?
10Just love one another! You’re already good at it; your friends all over the province of Macedonia are the evidence. Keep it up; get better and better at it.
It is obvious that we will love one another. But no, Paul demands that we love one another even more.
What does that mean? Have I become so used to loving my fellow Christians that I actually don’t love them anymore? Or am I doing just enough so that it doesn’t take too much of my time?
Yes, I do love my fellow Christians and actually my neighbour too, but the real question is what it costs me to do it. Isn’t that actually the question that Paul is asking here? Do we give only until it demands something from us and then we stop? Because you see, we’re actually very busy keeping our own lives going here. How can we make time to love other people extra as well?
We determine the love we that give others. We determine how and when we are available to share love and that is mostly when it suits us. It’s only human to do it this way. But when we dish out love like that, we’re only walking that first mile with others, and not the second.
When Paul asks us to really care, it’s all about that second mile we need to go. It’s when you get tired too, when it’s no longer that enjoyable to help someone, and when you actually want to do your own thing in your own time. This is indeed where God wants his children to join in and still love … despite anything.
Maybe what is demanded of us here is to once again live the love we say we have, the love we carry in our hearts, so that others can experience it and so that God’s message of love can become visible and tangible. Then his Name will be glorified.
I’m trying hard to think of an example where I’ve gone the second mile this past week, but sadly I have to admit that I can’t think of even one. Maybe you’ll have more luck.
The Word of God calls loudly to us today: Please care even more for other believers.
Make a difference.
Make a plan.
Go and find a place where you can spend some of your precious energy giving even more, to make even more of a difference, so that when others walk away from you, they will breathe easier.
Where can others see your love?
Where can you sow more love?
Or walk a second mile?
Father, like the believers in Thessalonica, I want to pray that my love for other people will grow day-by-day. Amen.