I prayed a very simple prayer yesterday morning: “God, help me be friendly to someone who is lonely.”
I know God gives us opportunities to give Him glory…but, usually, we make a mess of those situations.
This situation was no exception.
It was almost 5:00, and I thought about how I hadn’t been friendly all day. I had been focused on myself. And, honestly, I had missed out on a potentially wonderful opportunity to share Christ’s love.
A girl had been sitting all alone at a table that morning.
And I took a chair from her table to sit with my friends.
How pathetic was I.
I looked back at the opportunities God had given me to be kind…and I had been selfish. I had hung out with my friends. I’d only thought about myself.
How many times has this happened to you? Have you ever noticed your selfishness and your lack of focus on God?
I just wanted what I wanted.
It’s so easy to lose ourselves in life, focusing on things that have no eternal value.
Do any of these things sound familiar?
Arguing with friends about the score of last week’s football game.
Ranting about how awful the worship music is at your church.
Taking thirty minutes to perfectly straighten your hair.
Complaining endlessly about the cashier who messed up your order at McDonald’s.
Spending two hours doing a homework assignment that should’ve taken half an hour.
Taking and re-taking and re-taking photos to post a flawless selfie.
Flattering your boss and your co-workers to get them to like you.
Friends, these things are empty.
And I must confess that I do these kinds of things daily.
However, only focusing on our heavenly calling will bring us purpose.
Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. (Colossians 3:2 NKJV)
We must set our minds on heavenly things.
And we can start by paying attention to those around us.
Sadly, we often neglect those around us who are hurting and instead focus on ourselves. We forget that the shy kid who always sits by himself at lunch suffers from chronic pain. The co-worker who works in the cubicle beside you is being abused at home. The cashier who messed up your order is married to a man who ignores her. The worship leader who sings cheesy praise songs can’t seem to find his purpose in life. The girl who sees the flawless, Photoshopped selfies feels ugly and alone.
We quickly and easily get caught up in everything on this earth. After all, we can’t see the things above. We have no idea how God is working or how He is shaping us.
This post isn’t meant to make you feel guilty for the times you’ve messed up. Honestly, I could write endless posts about all the ways I’ve ignored Colossians 3:2 in my life.
I’m simply writing this so that we will, by God’s grace, try harder tomorrow.
Let’s get outside of ourselves long enough to see the pain in the world’s eyes. They need to see Jesus, and they may not get to see Him through anyone else. Though we can’t see how God is working above, we do know He is working.
Let Him work through you.
This post was originally published on January 6, 2016. I have revised and edited the original, and I hope you were encouraged by it. 🙂