Keep an eye out to provide a hand

Published 10:48 am Saturday, October 23, 2021

By Jan Penton Miller

Usually I sit down and write whatever happens to pop into my head. I’m sure most of my readers are aware of this fact by now since no one can really predict what might be in a column. Maybe that keeps things interesting; one can only hope. But today my focus is intentional because I’m doing double duty and writing on the topic of fragrance for a writer’s group that I belong to.

While I mulled the theme over in my mind I kept coming back to the verse in the Bible that speaks of Christ’s love and how he lay down His life for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. The passage states that we are to be imitators of God and walk in love as He did.

With all my mistakes and failures I wonder how that is even possible, but I believe the key is to confess those failures each day and start with a clean slate. What an absolutely wonderful thing to have the Creator of the universe love us so much that He wants to hear from us. When we make a mistake He is right there waiting for us to turn to Him for forgiveness and guidance.

One of the commentators I read on this passage expounded on the idea that we can never really love like God does, but we can keep moving closer to the ideal. As humans we will never be perfect, but we can have a perfect heart. By this I mean that we can have a “wanna be” heart. We will all sin and fall short of God’s best for our lives, but we can still really “wanna be” like Jesus. The Bible tells us that people look at the outside, but He looks at our heart.

I think a good way to check ourselves about this may to notice what direction we are headed. Are we growing more like our Savior or more like the world? Sometimes we all need to take a little health check spiritually and maybe correct our course. I know for sure that I need to take my spiritual temperature frequently.

When I think of imitating Jesus I think that it’s the opposite of human nature. As humans our natural tendency is to put ourselves first, numero uno! But that is the opposite of what Christ did for us; His entire life was lived as a sacrifice for human kind. If we can grasp how deep His love is for each of us, we will naturally want to imitate Him by walking in love ourselves.

There are opportunities everywhere to reach out a hand to help others. It doesn’t have to be earthshattering; sometimes a simple kindness is all it takes to make a difference.

(English Standard Version, Eph. 5.1-2) Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.