Do it out of love | Faith

by | July 8, 2018 5:00 am

Last Updated: July 3, 2018 at 11:32 am

Have you ever had someone to do something for you, thinking it was done out of love, only to find out that the person felt obligated to do it? If so, wasn’t it very disappointing? Did you feel that you needed to return whatever the favor was to the individual because it no longer meant the same to you?
I have had this to happen to me on more than one occasion. It hurt my feelings terribly and made me not want to accept anything from this individual again. Trying to handle someone who does something for you out of obligation, or just for a show, is not for you to tackle. Pray about it, and just let that person think that he or she got one over on you. You don’t have to call a person’s blunder to his or her face. Some things are better unsaid and need to be left in the hands of the Lord. He will address it in His own time.
The word consists of many scriptures that let us know what God expects of us in doing for others. I will share just a few. Hebrews 13:16 (ESV) says, “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”
According to Acts 20:35 (ESV), “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
James 1:22-25 (ESV) affirms, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”
A final Scripture, Philippians 2:4 (ESV) states, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
Therefore, God wants us to do what we do for others because of the love that we have for Him and others, not because we feel that it is an obligation or because we want special recognition.
The bottom line, there is a blessing in doing for others, if it genuinely comes from the heart.
This simple illustration, entitled “Dinner” by Joseph Mazella, is about carrying on the tradition of a family meal, and the effect of the main ingredient that was missing. The author then applies it to how we should do everything in our lives. Enjoy this “family meal!”
“When I was a boy growing up, after church on Sundays, we would always have a delicious Italian dinner. My nana’s slow-cooked sauce was the key. In it were cooked potatoes, chicken, steak, and meatballs. Mounds of spaghetti would also be boiled and dropped into the red sauce. We also had loaves of homemade Italian bread covered in butter. Every now and then there were also big chunks of provolone cheese. We would all eat, talk, and laugh until our bellies and hearts were full.
“After Mom and Nana passed away, my dad would still make the sauce from time to time and invite my brothers and me over to his little home for a dinner full of fine food and happy memories.
“After my dad died, the family recipe was passed on to my daughter and me. We often made the sauce for dinner, but for some reason it never tasted quite right. At first I thought we had gotten the recipe wrong, but one day I realized what was missing.
“On that day right before dinner, I closed my eyes, opened my heart, and imagined my dad, mom, and nana all sitting at the table around me with smiling faces. Then I placed the pasta on my fork and slowly slid it into my mouth. It tasted perfect, just as it always had, when I was a boy growing up.
“The secret ingredient was, of course, what it had always been — love! Love is the secret ingredient that makes all of life taste better. Love is the meal that God wants all of us to feast upon.”
In the book of Proverbs it says: “Better a dish of herbs when love is there than a fattened ox and hatred to go with it” [Proverbs 15:17].
Make all of your meals with love.
Fill all of your days with love.
Live all of your life with love.
Share your love with everyone you meet.
Then you will be truly ready for the reunion dinner that awaits you in Heaven.”
Have a wonderfully blessed week, and never leave home without Him!

(Anna Bright is a minister and educator in Walterboro. She can be reached at abrightcolumn@lowcountry.com)

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