In our travels across Africa last year, Lloyd asked missionaries over and over again if they thought their lives were worth imitating. We returned to the US and our boss, Marty, was asking our team the same thing. It is a loaded question – I mean, sure! there are many things in my life that others should mimic; but there are a great many things that I wish they would not! Truth!
I have an associate that expressed to me that she’d like to be like me; so I asked her what she sees in me. She said truth, compassion, authenticity. My response – Wow! Another associate told me that she finds me abrupt and cold; yet, she stated, my words have life in them. My response – Wow! As I thought of what my friends said to me – I decided that I want to cultivate a lifestyle that others can emulate and I decided that I want my life to be marked by my love toward others; a tangible love that people can feel and see. My words and actions should show love.
For me, that looks like speaking the truth in love; teaching the truths of the scripture; giving to real needs when I can; connecting people to resources that they need; listening; helping; being available to meet the needs of others without regard to what it might cost me;
knowing full well that God will replenish anything that is lost by giving to another. It means that I will extend to others the same grace that has been so graciously extended to me. And it means that my living will be out loud; such that people will see it and be moved by my living to walk in a like manner.
Giving of ourselves flies in the face of the world’s view of how we should live. We are told time and time again that we must look out for #1. Well, for the believer He is #1; and if we are looking out for Him it means that we will living in a manner that is worthy of His calling; and if we live in a manner worthy of His calling it means that we will give without expecting anything in return just as He gives and gives to us and receives naught – because what can we give to God? Only ourselves!
Walk in the manner of Christ today. Everything you need and want is in Him; so give all that you are away and you will surely walk in His blessing and favor.
“In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” (Acts 20:35)