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Doing good to Jesus

On Sunday morning, I concluded the service by introducing three ways to help cultivate an attitude of doing good toward others.

The first was to stop being self-absorbed (Phil. 2:3-4). The second was to set your mind that doing good to others will require sacrifice. It means you will have to suppress your own desires for your resources (whether it is your money, possessions or time) in order to devote it toward another (Proverbs 3:27). And finally, we looked at the parable of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25. Jesus taught that when we serve one of the least of our brothers, we actually serve the Lord. My personal challenge recently is to think of the person I am serving as Christ, not for any expectation of gratitude on their part, and that is because Christ deserves my full attention and allegiance.

After the service, someone asked me, what does that look like? I have to admit, when I first began doing this, it took me a while to figure it out. I don’t envision the other person as Jesus. What I do is pause and say, ‘if this was Jesus with me right now, how would I react to this person’s need?’ For example, in my home life, my youngest daughter is talker. I was recently suffering from allergies. I didn’t feel like talking or listening for that matter. Yet, we were in a bookstore together, and she was excited about all of the ‘treasure’ she found and how it relates to her passions or her friends. As bad as I felt, I wanted to craw into a hole and hide, and yet she was bombarding me with her comments. I asked myself, ‘if this was Jesus talking to me, how would I react?’ And that shifted my thought to be patient. To also explain that ‘dad, didn’t feel well and please forgive me if I didn’t catch all your words.’ But I know that at the conclusion of the shopping trip, she felt heard and valued.

I made a hospital visit the other day. When my visit was over, I needed to get back to the office to get some tasks done or I might be working late. But as I got into the parking lot elevator to leave, a woman got on carrying a huge flower arrangement. I asked myself, ‘if this was Jesus, would I offer to carry those flowers to her car’. The answer was a resounding ‘yes’. After an extended hospital stay with her mother, that was exactly what that woman needed in that moment. She showered me with gratitude as we walked to her car.

I don’t always receive praise or gratitude from those I serve. But I do feel a sense of accomplishment of knowing I recognized a moment that Christ wanted me to serve, and I did not miss it. And in that, I sense his pleasure. Matthew 5:16- Let your light shine that men might see your good deeds and glorify your father in heaven.