Love is the Answer
People need more than just money and other types of resources to feel valued. People need affection. It’s easy to think that just because you’re giving money to people that you’re doing an awesome thing. Don’t get me wrong, giving money away can be a huge blessing, but God does say He likes a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7).
When my fiancee and I first started dating, she said that she wasn’t sure that I really liked her because I was not very affectionate. The reason I wasn’t very affectionate at the beginning of our relationship was mainly that I was really nervous and I wasn’t sure how she’d respond to my affection lol I also wanted to make sure I waited until the right time to show her affection.
But, when enough time went by and I felt that we both really liked each other, I started to become more affectionate with her. Later in our relationship, she told me that she wished that I had been more affectionate early on because she would have known that I really liked her. I believe this is the same way it is with all people in general. You can tell people you love them and you care about them all you want, but if you don’t actually show it, it’s all means nothing.
Giving to the Poor
Before I ever went to Africa, sometimes I’d see commercials on T.V. about the poor African children who are starving to death. I think we’ve all seen those commercials. I’ve never felt led to donate money to help starving children. It’s not because I don’t believe giving money helps because it certainly helps a lot!
The reason I never felt led to give money to them was that I felt that God wanted me to give more than my money to the poor. He wanted me to give everything and dedicate my entire life to helping the poor.
When I went to Mozambique in 2016, I knew I didn’t just want to give money to the poor. How could I just give them money when they have no hope, no parents, no one to talk to, and no one to share their lives with?
Follow the Way of Love
What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? (Matthew 16:26)
I believe all of us have a burning desire to show people affection somehow. The reason many people aren’t affectionate isn’t that they don’t want to be, it’s that they don’t know how to be. For some people, their way of showing affection is by providing money and resources.
But, people don’t just want money and a place to live. They want to know that they’re loved. If you lock a person in a warm empty room with plenty of food, water, and enough hygienic products to last them for many years, that person would get very depressed quickly.
Jesus is Our Example
When Jesus worked with His 12 disciples, He wasn’t a dictator who just told them what to do and never spent time with them. He wasn’t just their master, He was their friend (John 15:15). Jesus never turned His back on His disciples when they behaved poorly.
He didn’t turn His back on Judas even though He knew Judas would betray Him. Jesus didn’t turn His back on Peter even though He knew Peter would deny Him. In fact, Jesus knew some of His disciples would betray Him, yet He kept them on His team! How wild is that?? That’s unconditional love in action.
I don’t even know what it would be like to love people like that. And not just to love them, but to actually be affectionate with them.
One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to Him (John 13:23).
Whether it sounds silly or not, we all need affection. Whether it comes from our husbands or wives, our brothers or sisters, or our friends, it’s something that helps us to know we’re loved. The awesome thing about God is that He’s not impersonal.
If we want to encounter Him tangibly, all we need to do is get with Him in our secret place, pray, and experience His love for us in a powerful way. When we encounter His love in our secret place, we can demonstrate His love for others who are lost in a public place.
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