"Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that." -- Galatians 6:4 MSG
At the end of yesterday's blog post, I suggested taking a look at yourself, your past hurts and how they shaped who you are today. One reason I think that is an important thing to do is that it helps you understand who you are and helps you get past your hurts to see who God designed you to be. "God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well." (Romans 12:6) But sometimes it takes time to figure out what those gifts are. When you realize what you are good at, and you want to be obedient to God, you start looking for ways to use those talents and gifts to help others.
There is so much pain, hurt, and need in the world today. Everywhere you look, you see people struggling to survive in one way or another. When you can get past your own pain, you see how who you are can help someone else. One problem I have though, is that I get overwhelmed by the AMOUNT of need in my community and in the world, and wonder what difference I can make. There is an old Jewish proverb that says "Whoever saves one life saves the world entire." We CAN make a difference...one person at a time!
Read Acts 3:10. The lame man was begging for money. He probably needed money to survive. But instead of money, Peter and John healed him in the name of Jesus and he got up and walked. We sometimes ask God for one thing but He would like to give us something much better. The same could be true for the needy around us. Consider some ways to give more than the bare minimum to others and to instead bless them with more than they asked for or imagined.
Peter and John didn't turn their eyes away from the man begging in the street. They looked right at him, and then told him to look at them. So many times, we look past the need that is right in front of us...for many reasons, but mostly because it's painful to see someone else's pain and we just don't know what to do. But, I believe God doesn't want us to always turn a blind eye.
Try this...the next time you see someone in need, maybe it's someone begging for money or the girl crying in the school bathroom...try looking them in the eye. Let your kind eyes meet the desperate ones. This will take courage...it might be hard. But think about how it could make a difference to them and to you.
There is a good quote from Max Lucado - "Our society is set up for isolation. We wear our earbuds when we exercise. We communicate via email and text messages. We enter our houses with gates and garage door openers. Our mantra: 'I'll leave you alone. You leave me alone.' Yet God wants his people to be an exception."
Many times, when you help someone else, you end up helping yourself more. Look inside yourself...find the gifts God gave you and make someone's day today! You'll be blessed more than you could ever imagine!