1 Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
I have a problem! I know, my family and friends would say, “Yes, but which one?!” I do have a problem in that I am a bit addicted to donuts. I love these sugary delights with just the right amount of fried goodness and cake-like texture. Now, my favorite brand of donuts is Krispy Kreme. I have the mugs, shirts, and I even own stock.
Yes, I love most every kind of donut, but my most favorite is the apple fritter!! Oh, my mouth is watering just thinking about them. The reason I know I have a problem is how stingy I became when I was asked to share some donuts. You see, one Sunday I was given a box of freshly made donuts from a person who knows of my donut love language. As I was eyeing the delectable variety in the box, I noticed not one, not two, but three apple fritters! I was in heaven. But just as I turned around to go up to my office and enjoy my bounty, a person asked with intent, “What’s that you have there? Are those donuts?” I closed the lid as the waft of donut scent turned heads. I wanted to say no or make up some excuse to run, but I knew I needed to be honest, so I said, “Yes.” Just as I was about to say they were a gift and wanted to enjoy my favorite apple fritter, they asked, “Can I have one?” I begrudgingly opened the box and mater-of-fact-like said, “Sure.” They reached into the box as, under my breath, I kept saying, “Not the apple fritter, not the apple fritter.” They went for the twisty glazed and I was so happy, but they pushed it aside and grabbed the apple fritter. Calming myself with the reality that there were still two more, I started to close the box. Just then, those people who caught the donut fragrance came running and before long all the donuts were gone besides just half of a small cake donut. I was bummed.
Now, all this was an indicator of my problem, but a month latter, when I was again given a box of donuts, the real issue came out. I did something awful that I am not proud of that showed the depth of my problem. When I received another box of donuts, I quickly went up to my office, got out a few Ziploc bags and took out two of the apple fritters and put them in my office freezer. I then happily went out to ‘share’ my donuts! I was so worried about not getting that I hoarded and held back because I did not want to run out before I got my favorites.
We can do that same thing when it comes to sharing love with others through service. We can get so worried that we will not have any time, energy, or resources so we don’t share, don’t give, don’t serve. But the truth is, when we choose to share love and serve there will always be enough. Love-induced service is called compassion. Jesus the Christ of the Bible was a man of compassion.
Luke 7:13 And when the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.”
Matthew 15:32 Then Jesus called His disciples to Him and said, “I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And I am unwilling to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.”
Matthew 9:36 When He saw the crowds, He had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Jesus calls us to that same compassion
John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
What’s amazing is that a choice to show compassionate love and serve never has to run out. There will always be enough for us and for others. The key for us is to be ready. Jesus, challenging His follower (and us) said this…
Luke 12:35 Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning,
To ‘stay dressed’ means to be ready to let love for others fill us to the point we are compelled with compassion to do something. To do a love motivated service. It is helping in the community at the senior center, the Boy and Girls Club, the Parks and Rec department. It’s helping your neighbor in need or organizing something that brings your neighbors together. It’s being kind to those you meet and being courteous. It’s helping a homeless person. It’s caring for the sick. You get the idea. We don’t have to hoard our time, energy, or resources. There is enough! Let’s be people that share love and serve.
Church can be a great place to hone our serving skills and learn about God’s great love. If you don’t already have a church you regularly attend, we would like to invite you to Cypress Church or any of our branch churches. Our website has more information: http://www.cypresschurch.net.