By Lizzy Korsah
Are you a lovable person? Can people talk to you and not feel afraid? Can you forgive when someone does something against you? Have you forgiven your ex? Are you a giver? Do you help the poor, homeless or give to charities that work with third world countries? Have you spoken about Jesus to your loved ones or even out on the streets? I know these questions are forward but I want you to think of them for a quick moment before you read the blog.
I remember there was a song that I liked when I listened to Drake called “No new friends”. It was such a catchy tune that in the end, people began to live for the phrase. If we haven’t been friends for the longest or if we’re not close enough then I don’t need you (a better way to say it as we all know what the lyrics say). As much as I was hyped about the song, I didn’t really agree. What’s wrong with making new friends?
In this modern day society, I believe it is hard to make new friends with people. If you are not with the times or if you are not as popular as you should be, people hardly want to know about you. It seems as if you need to be of a certain standard before you are approachable to even say hello. Or, we have become afraid of betrayal by the people we trust we hardly try to make new friends. That way we don’t get as hurt. “Lizzy it really isn’t that deep. I don’t need to make new friends”. But it is deep if you have the ability to help those who struggle making friends and are contemplating suicide as they have no one to talk to. They feel alone and inadequate. I’m not saying make friends with everyone as we should be wise. Let the Holy Spirit guide you in being a friend to those who may not be as social as you are.
Proverbs 27:17 mentions (in NKJV) “ As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend”. We as seekers of the Kingdom should encourage each other daily in the faith. We need to be open to help others. We need to be approachable, we shouldn’t judge, or become liable to gossip someone’s business as soon as they leave. Sometimes we may be so used to doing these things that we forget that doing this is wrong. Encourage someone with a bible verse a day. Speak on the goodness of God. Be a helper when they need help. I know oyster is a bit expensive but if you need to visit them, do so. Let them know you are there. Be a shepherd to them.
Forgiveness is a touchy subject as it is difficult to forgive someone who has hurt you. It can be an ex who has lied, used and abused your trust to get their own way. It could be a friend who you trusted to tell your secrets and goals with but they hated you in long sight. It could be a parent who has neglected you. It could even be a teacher who said you will not make it in life. Urgh, aren’t they annoying? Even the thought of them gets you heated. But I want to encourage you to forgive. “Why?” You may ask. Well that’s why. You are so mad at them that thinking about what they did to you ruins your day. “Well, I’m just gonna live my best life”. You can’t live your best life if the past life is still making you upset and peeved off. This is what the devil does. He doesn’t want to see you happy and so he uses the people you trusted to make you angry that you may never forgive.
May I remind you of Jesus? That moment when they were mocking Him on the cross, what did He say? He said to His heavenly father, in Luke 23:34 “...Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” He told His heavenly father while He was in excruciating pain to forgive them. They were killing Him, ending His life and He told the God of everything to forgive them. See God did not play when it came to Jesus. He loved Him as He was the perfect son, and to see His other sons and daughter mocking Jesus, wow it must have got Him fuming. But Jesus, being who He is decided to forgive and let it go because that is what He had to do. 1 John 3:16 (NKJV) says “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”
The things that we go through in life aren’t to bring us down, but to make us stronger. When you decide to forgive, it shows how strong you are. It also shows that you don’t want to be bondage to emotional pain anymore. You want to ‘live your best life’. “And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32 NKJV). If Jesus can forgive you your sins, you can also forgive that person. “But it’s hard” you may say. That is what Jesus is there for. He is there for you to lean on Him to help you. Tell Him you cannot do this on your own and that You need His grace to forgive the people who hurt you. I’ll tell you this; the best revenge is forgiving and moving on.
Do your bit to help the homeless, the poor and the people who are struggling in third world countries. Doing an act of kindness a day shows the Jesus in you. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not by force to give money especially when you are lacking in the money department (I pray may God grant you wealth so that you may never want ever again). I remember reading a quote somewhere from a high profiled evangelist who said that evangelising is not only to the rich and wealthy but to the poor and to those who have lost hope in humanity. By showing love towards people, you show why God is love and you bring forth a light which signs in the darkness. Just as it is mentioned in I John 2:10 (NKJV) “He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.” I want you to think about this. Giving is only a struggle when you think of yourself and not the person you are giving to. You may not even have to give money. It may just be sacrificing your time to just sit with the homeless and giving hope to them.
I am reminded of the parable Jesus told about a man who travelled to Jericho from Jerusalem and thieves stole his garments and beat him on the roadside. He was hurt, bruised and looked like he was hanging on for dear life. A Priest and a Levite looked and walked past. Then one good Samaritan, helped this poor man, took him to a nearby inn and looked after him till he became well. This parable can be found in Luke 10:25-37.
“I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil your ministry” II Timothy 4:1-5. I believe this passage is a decree to all of us that we must tell people of Jesus. Telling people about Jesus is a way of showing love towards our neighbour.
If you’re anyone like me, I’m a very shy, quiet girl. I actually struggle in making small talk to people I hardly know and I find evangelising quite daunting. But I cannot use this as an excuse not to tell people about God as I would become selfish, causing me not to show the love that I am meant to show. In order to show love you must direct people to love Himself. “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” I John 4:8 (NKJV). It is an honour to proclaim the name of Jesus in all areas of our lives and it’s a blessing for the people around you to know the light that is in you. For greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world. (1 John 4:4). We shouldn’t just throw it aside and allow others to tell people about Jesus. It is our duty. Even if it is not preaching, but letting people know that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, it is a way of fulfilling the good commission. If they do not want to hear about it that is fine, continue to pray that one day they will meet and love Jesus in their own way.
Throw pride out the window and introduce Jesus to a friend who’s never met Him before. Begin to fellowship with believers who are struggling in their faith or in their lives. Forgive those who hurt you. Give or help those who are less privileged than you. Do this is all with the HELP of the Holy Spirit. Don’t do things without a conviction from Him because it will not end very well. Always, in every area of your life, learn to be led by the Holy Spirit. Luke 12:12 says “...For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say”.
At this Christmas time, become a reflection of the God that you serve. Planting seeds of love eventually brings forth fruit. Ask the Holy Spirit what you need to do. Let Him show you His wisdom and go for it. Allow the Holy Spirit to flow through you in order to show the love and the light that God gives us. Before you know it, you will be completing what Jesus spoke of in Acts 1:8 which says (in NKJV) “ But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
So again, I pose these questions for you as reflection. Are you a lovable person? Can people talk to you and not feel afraid? Can you forgive when someone does something against you? Have you forgiven your ex? Are you a giver? Do you help the poor, homeless or give to charities that work with third world countries? Have you spoken about Jesus to your loved ones or even out on the streets?
Christmas time is the remembrance of when love came down to this earth in the bleak mid-winter. God loved us a lot and brought His son, Jesus, to show us how to love others as God loved Him. His ministry was built on love, even when no one believed. And when that day came for Him to die, He still showed love. So make the decision to love your neighbour as yourself. Decide today, to give the gift of love this Christmas!
Dear Abba Father, I thank you for your love towards me. Thank you for sending an example of love to come and die on the cross for me. I pray that as I pursue to live like Jesus, may I too show love to my neighbour. May I forgive those who have hurt me as you have forgiven me. May I interact with my friends more, may I give to those who are less fortunate then I am. May I have the courage to speak about my faith to people who do not know you. May I do all of this through your Holy Spirit. Not on my own will but through Your will, so that Your name will be praised and glorified. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!
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