This morning at the breakfast table I told Lauren, our six-year old, that she is beautiful both inside and out. “Do you know what that means, that you’re beautiful on the inside?” I asked. Putting my finger on her chest I prompted, “What’s right here?” “My heart,” she said.
I told her that I love the way she cares for others’ feelings and asked her how she feels if one of her friends is sad. “Sad” she answered. As I sat there trying to be the intentional parent I wanna be – the parent who focuses on the inner beauty of my children – I was reminded and challenged that true love rejoices when a friend rejoices and is sad when a friend is sad.
To be in relationship with others in a way in which I think we’re called to as believers, we should want to celebrate our friends’ triumphs and mourn their losses. That is the mark of true love and an indicator of where our heart is.
Do we have a humble heart when we look toward others or do we filter their life and experiences through our own circumstances and hurts? Being engaged in relationship calls us out of ourselves and our own junk and into the lives of others where we’re challenged to set aside motives for personal gain or, perhaps even more common, a plain-old focus on self.
Even in spite of your own feelings at the time, does your heart hurt when you hear that your friend’s hurting? Are you able to celebrate when she has cause for celebration? I don’t mean the worked-up and put-on reaction; I mean the true emotion that reflects what’s in the heart of your friend. If not, why not?
Are you in relationship with others to the point where this is happening on a regular basis? Do you need to engage more in your relationships so that you have this challenge in the first place?
These are good questions to ask ourselves….good food for thought. Get out there with people and when you’re there, be REAL! It’s really all people are looking for. We get enough of the other kind from the world.
Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Romans 12:15
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