Other People First– Actually
University is busy. And it’s hard work.
If I wanted to do all the readings I’m assigned for school, I would be reading every second of every day. But I’ve figured out how to read what I need to– on top of work, being with friends, down time, sleep, and daily life necessities.
I’m not trying to create a sob story, and I recognize that every student feels this– I love my school and studies, my job, and my life, and know that I am so so blessed beyond belief to have these resources and opportunities. But what I am realizing is that when busyness becomes routine and becomes ordinary and becomes what I know, I find ways for it to work that turn relationships into things that need to be scheduled, out of genuinely, of course, wanting to see friends and caring about them, but getting used to only having snippets of time to see people, and thus friendships being reduced to “appointments” in a sense.
This is not okay, ever.
Because a busy university season turns into a busy career season and my social life is not “my social life” in the way other people fit into “my life.” All other people have lives and journeys and struggles and triumphs and I want in every sense to put those above my own.
And yesterday, during worship at Creekside, the Lord spoke a huge, loving conviction over my heart.
I’m setting you even more free than you think you are now. There’s so much MORE freedom for you to enter into.
And he gave me a picture of that looking like other people’s lives and needs and my love for Him trumping routines, and His Spirit ITSELF making relationships that put the other person first, because that’s all His Spirit does. He doesn’t indulge in Himself, He doesn’t obsess over and idolize any part of His own life, He just loves on every one in His creation, and that love comes from the Father. And that Love instructs me, as His Spirit is within me.
And He doesn’t ask me to do it alone. Even though some habits in my life are selfish and unlike His heart, He will debunk those when I let Him. And He spoke to my heart without my asking for it. He is such a Father and such a Friend.
And then Pastor Nat went into his sermon, and spoke exactly about what Jesus had been preparing my heart to hear: Jesus heart is that our relationships would put the other person first. That is where Joy is. And I can access His Spirit at ALL TIMES to love others, to care genuinely for their lives, and to know how precious they are.
then make my joy complete by being of one mind, having the same love, being united in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambitionor empty pride, but in humility consider othersmore important than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. PHILIPPIANS 2:2-4
And He prepared my heart in reminder of what I’ve always known to be second most important to relationship with Him, that being unconditional love of all His children. His sacrificial love is the best example of that. And He meets us all right where we’re at, and helps me to do the same.
So today, having coffee with my beautiful friend Morgan, who God has so preciously brought into my life, I wanted so genuinely to get lost in her life, to know how she’s been feeling, and to understand her truly. And I am so excited to be a part of her life. I know this is His heart for ALL my friendships, that I would care and invest in every person as He does.
Lord, give me Your Spirit and Strength to love and serve others. Continue to teach me the ways of Your heart that are FOR all people, and show me more every day the ENDLESS JOY that is in loving and caring for others– no agenda, not for any reason but their joy and Your glory. Amen.