Tuesday, August 14

Working with love

This morning, I was reading my Bible, specifically the book of James, and reflecting on what it says:

"What use is it, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothes and in need of daily food and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace. Be warmed and be filled,' and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use it is? Even so, faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself."

The thought that quickly came to my mind today is what use is good works if not accompanied with love and compassion? To have faith is one thing. To have faith and works is another. To have faith and works WITH love at the core, takes service to a whole other level. And really, if your faith is sincerely rooted in Christ, then your works will be an extension of, and filled with, love and compassion...there would be no variance between the latter two options and that is really what the author of James means, I believe.

So all of this eventually lead me to praying that in my works today, from the chores to the house I would work on, that they would be filled with God's love and compassion. Little did I realize that the Lord would test me on this almost immediately after.

This morning was chaotic. Lunch preparations wasn't ready quickly (we set everything out while people are eating breakfast) and really, lunch wasn't even my staff chore to be concerned with. I just made it my concern and felt my stress and frustration level grow quickly! Then by this time, most people were done with breakfast, so I quickly scarfed down mine so that I could do my staff chore, which is overseeing all the visitor's chores. I was annoyed that I had to now eat so quickly while other staff members were leisurely eating their breakfast. Next, my frustration and lack of patience grew as people slowly meandered to their assigned chore or that some responsibilities were being missed altogether which mean that I ended up doing them. I felt growlish and snippy.

Then God opened my "eyes" to see what had just happened. I prayed to show love in my works and yet for the entire hour of breakfast and chores, I had done everything BUT show love and compassion. Funny how that happens, isn't it? I undeniably felt very humbled and quickly told the Lord how much more work needs to be down in my heart, how much more I need to be softened, how much more I need to know His mercy and love and then offer that to others, how I can't just give love and compassion when it's easy and feels good but also when it's hard and sacrificial.

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