Being Intentional: Loving Others

intentional glasses

She stands in a room full of people.  The sea of faces are all smiling, voices are lilting and arms are embracing.  Yet she feels alone. Inside, her turmoil rages.  The pain of her life churns and turns and rails against the mask she has placed on her face so that she will fit in. Kind eyes glance her way, and the conversations stay light and airy.  And she shrinks, believing that she is alone and unacceptable and unworthy.  If only she knew….

How many of us have sat in the place of this imaginary, but very real woman, longing for someone to see, really see us.  And, if I am truly honest, how many times have I been the smiling woman, flitting here and there, looking but not really seeing those around me?

When I encounter those around me, how do I see them? And how do I see myself?

What lens am I gazing through?

These words of Jesus strike a deep resonating chord in my heart –

“Love the Lord your God, with all your heart, all your soul and all of your mind….and love your neighbor as yourself” Matthew 22:38a, 39b  

“Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” John 13:34  

Great words, for sure!  They look great on a plaque on the wall, and as part of our lessons to our children when they fight with each other. But really, truly, how do we do this?  How did Jesus do this?  We know that He set the standard for true love and then lived it out for us to see. But when I think of whether I love others well, I can’t help but feel that I fall terribly short of what Jesus has called us to.  Perhaps it’s a bit more about perspective and not quite as much about checklists and strategy.love one another

I am a women who has come to know the freely given love and forgiveness of Jesus, yet I was once a fear-filled, insecure girl who felt shame and unworthiness. When I think of “as I have loved you” my heart overflows with gratitude at the matchless grace and love of my Savior. When I think of “as yourself” I see others in a way that gives me space to relate to them. I see others as people who feel feelings like mine, who have questions like mine, who mean the best, but sometimes falter…like me. And this view helps me to love them better, and perhaps more like Jesus loves them.

Being intentional in how I love others means seeing them as Jesus sees them, yet understanding them as I understand myself.

It’s a new set of glasses

These new lenses can have a profound impact on how we relate to others and how we show Gods love to them. It changes my actions, my attitude and my motivation. It opens my heart, removing some of the “sludge” of preconceived ideas and judgment, and makes space for God’s love to flow more freely.

Carla Jones is a wife, mother and creative entrepreneur.  She and her family lived for 9 years in South Africa where they owned a business that provided skills development to the underemployed.  These days, she spends her time repurposing salvaged items and hopes one day to tie this into a small outreach to others.  Since returning to the U.S., she has been involved in building relationships and enjoys being a part of local Bible studies and Women’s Community.Sweet Carla

Ladies, THIS IS BEAUTIFUL CARLA and her beautiful daughter taking a selfie.

{We LOVE CARLA so much that we totally stole this photo and just HAD to share it with all of you!}

 

How are YOU looking at others with intention? Share with us!!

 

 

3 thoughts on “Being Intentional: Loving Others

  1. Cheryl says:

    Oh Carla-this is me! (As you well know my friend! ) Beautifully written and so true- I need to remember who I am in Christ and move forward in confidence

    Like

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