I have spent most of my life, waiting to feel loved by others before I pursued loving them. If someone didn’t seek me out and pursue to be my friend, I didn’t do it. But I have been discovering over the last two years, if I wait to feel loved by someone, before I ever reach out to them. It will probably never happen, and if by slim chance it does happen, I will have already waisted valuable time I could have been loving them.
Yesterday as I sat in church, I saw an older lady that I know. As I sat there and admired her beauty, I thought. I wish I had a relationship with her, that when we see each other, we go out of our way to say hi. We then give each other a hug, and invest in one another. Just something more than the traditional hello strangers give. Then, I felt the Lord nudge me and challenge me to action.
As I jotted down several thoughts that were popping into my head, I prayed, Lord give me the opportunity with her today. Fast forward, to the end of service. Everyone exits, and I lose the chance to practice loving well. As I lingered around the lobby waiting to get my crew in order, there she came. I intentionally stopped her, intentionally gave her a hug, told her how beautiful she looked, and then something happened. Something shifted in the relationship, where she told me a bit of her story. Our relationship became more than just the usual “hello.” A simple call to action, to love someone well, shifted everything.
I realized, maybe it isn’t just me who is waiting to be pursued. Maybe a little part of us all, in our selfishness desires for people to go out of their way and love us first. Just maybe, the enemy has been lying to us all and making us feel worthless because we don’t feel loved and pursued by others. In result, keeping us from loving people.
Here are a few things I do know about people..
People LOVE joyful people.
People LOVE feeling loved.
LOVE and joy is contagious!
We have got to stop waiting for people to love us. We need to start finding our value & worth in Jesus, so we don't feel the need to find that in people. We must start loving people FIRST, the way we want to be loved. 1 John 4:19 says, We love Him, because He first loved us. As we walk in Him, we must start intentionally loving people first, even before they ever love us. We have got to start being deliberate with loving people well. We need to have the “go above and beyond”’ mentality when it comes to people. People matter.
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:37-39