I’m a big advocate of listening. I think it’s essential that we listen to our kids, our mate, our friends, teachers, supervisors, pastors, political candidates, etc. Listening helps us learn, develops patience & is an essential ingredient for connecting with people. But alas, we cannot emphasize listening at the expense of doing.
This morning I read Jesus’ brief parable that contrasts a wise man with a foolish man, at the end of Matthew 8. In this contrast, Jesus explains that the wise man listens to God & acts upon what he hears. The foolish man, however, listens but doesn’t do anything. Let’s allow God’s Word to inform & shape our actions. Let’s be “doers” & not just listeners 🙂
If the truth be known, I’m not so good at waiting & I’m trying to get better at that whole foreign concept. I tend to jump in & ask questions later, often getting WAY OVER MY HEAD & then freaking out. I probably lead with my heart & let my brain come along for the ride from time to time. Clearly, this has gotten me into some hot water & mildly comical situations, more than I’d like to admit. But on the flip side, it’s also made for some really outrageous adventures & results, most of which I totally love 🙂
Thankfully, God has surrounded me with people who have their feet on the ground & keep me from floating away into some dreamy oblivion. But perhaps God has me in the lives of these very grounded people, as well, so they can go & do far beyond their natural thinking. Let’s value how God has made each of us & readily align our lives with faith, which is by definition belief in action 🙂
I had a really cool discussion last night with some great friends & I was reminded of a quote from Mother Teresa that goes something like: do small things with great love. When I think about this, here are some practical ideas for some small things that can show great love:
*help someone remember your name without making them feel bad
*look for opportunities to give sincere compliments
*hold the door open for a person without expecting a “thank you”
*give a genuine smile when someone is grumpy with you
*dont wait until you feel like it to be nice – let kindness come from your heart & not your feelings 🙂
What are some other ideas that you can share to help us express great love through small things?
This morning, my kids & I were reading in James about how faith without action is worthless & it was an interesting conversation. We can tell alot about what we believe by looking at our actions. In actual fact, our actions have greater volume & visibility in our lives than our intentions. In addition to faith, we also talked about how faith works by love & that love is a decision & not merely a warm, huggy feeling. Maybe some of our faith is dysfunctional because our love is inert or tainted with self-deception. Whatever the case, I was challenged from my conversation with my kids to let God’s love flow through me so that my faith will have effective & productive feet 🙂