Monday, October 19, 2009

Do For Others What God Does For You

Max Lucado Excerpt from "A Love Worth Giving"

Max Lucado speaks a lot of wisdom, which I am grateful to receive.

You and I have the privilege to do for others what God does for us. How do we show people that we believe in them?

Show up. Nothing takes the place of your presence. Letters are nice. Phone calls are special, but being there in the flesh sends a message.

Do you believe in your kids? Then show up. Show up at their games. Show up at their plays. Show up at their recitals. It may not be possible to make each one, but it’s sure worth the effort. Do you believe in your friends? Then show up. Show up at their graduations and weddings. Spend time with them. You want to bring out the best in someone? Then show up.

Listen up. You don’t have to speak to encourage. The Bible says, “It is best to listen much, speak little” (James 1:19 TLB). We tend to speak much and listen little. There is a time to speak. But there is also a time to be quiet. That’s what my father did. Dropping a fly ball may not be a big deal to most people, but if you are thirteen years old and have aspirations of the big leagues, it is a big deal. Not only was it my second error of the game, it allowed the winning run to score.

I didn’t even go back to the dugout. I turned around in the middle of left field and climbed over the fence. I was halfway home when my dad found me. He didn’t say a word. Just pulled over to the side of the road, leaned across the seat, and opened the passenger door. We didn’t speak. We didn’t need to. We both knew the world had come to an end. When we got home, I went straight to my room, and he went straight to the kitchen. Presently he appeared in front of me with cookies and milk. He took a seat on the bed, and we broke bread together. Somewhere in the dunking of the cookies I began to realize that life and my father’s love would go on. In the economy of male adolescence, if you love the guy who drops the ball, then you really love him. My skill as a baseball player didn’t improve, but my confidence in Dad’s love did. Dad never said a word. But he did show up. He did listen up. To bring out the best in others, do the same, and then, when appropriate:

Speak up.

You have the power to change someone’s life simply by the words that you speak. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Prov. 18:21 NKJV). That’s why Paul urges you and me to be careful. “When you talk, do not say harmful things, but say what people need—words that will help others become stronger” (Eph. 4:29).

A Love Worth GivingEarlier I gave you a test for love. There’s also a test for the tongue. Before you speak, ask: Will what I’m about to say help others become stronger? You have the ability, with your words, to make a person stronger. Your words are to their soul what a vitamin is to their body. If you had food and saw someone starving, would you not share it? If you had water and saw someone dying of thirst, would you not give it? Of course you would. Then won’t you do the same for their hearts? Your words are food and water! Do not withhold encouragement from the discouraged. Do not keep affirmation from the beaten down! Speak words that make people stronger. Believe in them as God has believed in you.

From A Love Worth Giving
Copyright (Thomas Nelson, 2002) Max Lucado

The Speak Up part is a challenge with a blog. Because, nobody is really listening in the normal sense of that word. It's your/my blog and I can say what I want. However, it is my desire to speak words that bring truth, and not hurt, unless a little pain is good for the soul. I am not the judge of that, so hope that my words bring truth. I try to check my ego at the door when I sit down, but do not succeed always, though I hope I am more successful than failing.

I have been hard on Jim Corcoran because he is doing something that is very hurtful to the Church. He didn't start it in one sense, but he is in charge of the pain machine now. Yet, I believe that he is a good man, with a good heart, who desires to do the right thing.

I am hard on the HRCs/HRTs not because the people in them are bad, even though I poke fun at them from time to time. They are people trying to do their best, but what they are doing is not helping, but hurting the people of Canada, and runs counter to the fundamental rights and freedoms of all people in Canada, in the name of political correctness, which is not a name worth doing something in.

Eventually, we shall all have freedom because of the truth, not my truth, or your truth, but because in the fullness of time, TRUTH will be revealed to us all as individuals, and we will have no practical choice but to follow it.


real estate agent from Toronto said...

Nicely said, very wise and powerful words. Especially the part about listening. I can see it daily that people just don't want to listen and express their ideas only without having concerns about what the others think. It just saddens me that people can be so "selfish". Thank you for your article, very nice reading.

Take care, Julie

Michael Brandon said...

Thank you Julie for your kind words.

If you don't mind though, I won't take "care", but I will take heart, heart that we will all waken to our own selfishness, and the evil that is festering inside us, and that the caring needs to be done by the One who created us, and loves us even when we are hard hearted, stubborn and selfish.

May God Bless You abundantly, as you travel on your journey called Life.