What do you tend to focus on the most- People or Projects?
Do you use ‘people’ as a means to get your own work done and your ambitions fulfilled? Do you do things for people (or in front of people) to please them so that they would like you more and praise you well? Do you feel proud of yourself and/or have a sense of accomplishment when you help others?
Are your relationships compromised in the business of life? Is your life at present fixated with paying your bills, building your assets and meeting projects, papers and deadlines? Can you say that you are fully present in the moment to enjoy, celebrate and appreciate the people (family, friends and strangers) in your life?
These are questions I ask myself when I do a prayerful self examen. To be honest, sometimes I just do things without paying attention to my relationships. This is when life becomes a set of chores and people become a burden. Truth be told, I don’t want to love everyone and I don’t have the time to love everyone in my life. I prefer to pick and choose the moments I can express my love. And because I am selfish and I have made love into something I fall into and fall out of easily at my own convenience I am guilty of using people for my own security, attention and accomplishments.
The Bible reminds us that GOD created us to be human BEINGS and not human DOINGS.
Life is precious and is never meant to be a set of chores that we do for people or through people for mere attention, self esteem, pleasure and/or brownie points. Life, as designed by GOD, is about LOVE relationships. What good is it if we do a lot of things and get all the attention we want, but have no love? To be fully human is to be in love – both with GOD and our neighbor. Love should be the essence of our life and should dictate everything concerning life. It must not be used for our own convenience.
So, what does this love look like? Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).
“This is how GOD showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son (Jesus Christ) into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved GOD, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since GOD so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen GOD; but if we love one another, GOD lives in us and his love is made complete in us” (1 John 4:9-12).
There is a time and a place to reflect on our past experiences and revel in our future hope. BUT, if we don’t pay attention to the present reality- the GOD given moments of the “here and now,” we will miss opportunities to BE fully present to the people in our life and BE in love.
May we live as human beings. May we humble ourselves and ask GOD to continue to teach us what it means to love. May we ‘BE’ in love relationships the way we were meant to be, BOTH with GOD and our neighbor. May all our “doings” be a manifestation of our “being” in love.
Samuel Williams is co-founder & content director at Fluid. He is also the teaching pastor at Avenue Community Church in Toronto, Canada.