I recently took an empty propane tank out to be refilled. While waiting by the giant supply tank for service an employee said, “I hate filling tanks and don’t want to help you – but I will.” I was pretty shocked at how blunt he was, but hey – he filled my tank so I was still accomplishing my goals. My son, Jay, was with me and said, “Dad, he doesn’t like his job.”
How many times do we act like this employee in our Christian walk? Is the love and compassion we are commanded to share something that flows out of us as an expression of our faith? Do we even act like we enjoy being Christians?
Jesus said in Matthew 22:37-39:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.
Expressing our love for the Lord and love for our neighbor shouldn’t be an inconvenience out of our day. Loving the Lord, and loving those around us should be the natural expression of our faith. We are not employees of the Kingdom of God with tasks and duties to check off in order to maintain favor. We are sons and daughters who are loved without contingencies. We have good days and bad days where we may make good choices or bad choices but His love for us is the same.
As a response to this incredible love we really have just one commandment – to love Him in return and those we come in contact with. It can be easy to get distracted from this primary objective. In order to remain in a place of love here are 2 ideas to keep the love on:
1. Worship – taking time out of our day to worship the Lord takes the focus off us and on to Him. Taking a moment to listen to a worship song in the car before walking in the door at the shop or office could be all we need to get us expressing love.
2. Give – anytime we give of our time, finances, or attention we are giving an expression of love. Big or small, when we invest into relationships it releases love. It may be as simple as picking up the phone to call a friend and tell them how much you appreciate them, or buying the next person in lines soda at the gas station.
The man who filled my propane tank didn’t really put any desire in me to have his job or perspective on life. Our love should be building a love bridge from those around us back to the Lord. The purpose of loving the Lord and loving those around us is to grow in love and in our capacity to receive and give love away. We should be expressing a contagious faith drawing others to the source of love.
As the racing season begins to close out for the year lets focus on growing in our love for the Lord and one another. People surround us in our lives that need to encounter the love of the Lord in their lives. Let’s be the answer with intentional and contagious expressions of His love in our lives and in His love for them.