Caring for One Another
All of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 1 Peter 3:8 (TNIV)
Believers should strive to live in harmony with others. Be sensitive toward each other’s feelings, loving one another with tender hearts and humble minds.
Sarah had a kind and generous heart by nature, and she didn’t understand why other kids had trouble getting along—until Tiffany moved to town. Tiffany was in Sarah’s grade at school, and she attended youth group and Bible study every week. But she didn’t just participate like everyone else. She blew into the room, like a gust of wind that unsettled everything. She was loud, thought she knew it all, and was determined to change everything so it was done “right.” Bossy and opinionated—that described Tiffany perfectly, Sarah thought. Living in harmony and being sympathetic to such an inflated ego strained Sarah’s patience. Sarah would have preferred avoiding Tiffany altogether, but she knew Jesus wanted her to be kind and loving toward Tiffany. Help me, Lord, Sarah prayed as she acted in kind ways. Over several months, Sarah’s heart slowly lined up with her loving actions. In the end, Tiffany became Sarah’s close friend.
We are to be sympathetic to others. “When others are happy, be happy with them. If they are sad, share their sorrow. Live in harmony with each other” (Romans 12:15–16
NLT). Being kind and loving toward one another isn’t just a good idea. It’s a commandment from God, and it applies whether we feel like being compassionate or not. Show love and kindness to others—it will come back to you multiplied many times over!
More Devotions to Get You Thinking
I assure you, even if you had faith as small as a mustard seed you could say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it would move. Nothing would be impossible. Matthew 17:20 (NLT)
Jesus promises that you can do mighty things, even if your trust in him is as tiny as a mustard seed—smaller than an ant! You can say to some problem that appears huge, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Jesus said there is nothing that can’t be accomplished or handled. Nothing!
Do you have a mountain in your life, one that is an obstacle to you? A mountain of family problems, or money problems? Maybe it’s how you feel about your physical appearance. Maybe it’s your difficulty studying and remembering your school work. God is in the mountain-moving business. Our part is to believe—to have faith—that he can do it.
When you trust, sometimes he suddenly takes care of the problem for you; he may remove a person from your life or give you an after-school job out of the blue. Or he sends a person to help you who knows just what to do. Often God personally shows you, step by step, the things you can do to solve the problem. They’re usually things you had never considered—and wouldn’t have thought of on your own. “What is impossible with men is possible with God.” (Luke 18:27 NIV) The most important thing in receiving God’s help is not our faith (which can be small), but his great faithfulness to keep his Word. We don’t need self-confidence, but we need God-confidence.
Do you want greater faith? Faith is like a muscle. It only gets stronger by using it. Put your faith in God today, and watch that mountain start to move!
Just Say the Word
“Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Your word is enough.” —Matthew 5:37 (NLT)
If someone asks you for a favor, make your decision and give a simple “Yes” or “No.”You don’t need to make lavish promises or give long-winded explanations. Your “Yes” or “No” is enough. Suppose you tell your new friend a secret and make her promise not to tell anyone. Your friend promises. “I won’t tell a living soul,” she says. “I promise on a stack of Bibles. I always keep secrets. You can trust me. I’ve never broken a promise. Not ever!” By the time your friend is done, you have a funny feeling that she would blab your secret. You would have felt more reassured and trusting if your friend had merely said, “No, I won’t tell.” Even better, if you’d known your friend longer, you would know the girl’s reputation. Only time can reveal whether someone can be trusted with secrets or if they will gossip about you.
Only time can build trust in someone’s character—you must see if what they do matches what they say they will do. If a person is consistently truthful, she will develop a reputation for being honest. She won’t need to make long promises. If she simply says, “Yes, I will,” or “No, I won’t,” people will believe her. If a person is dishonest or a blabbermouth, getting her to promise won’t mean much anyway.
Dishonest people don’t keep their promises at all well! Strive to be honest and trustworthy in everything you do and with everyone you have contact. Then when someone asks you to do something, you can simply answer yes or no—and people will believe you.
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