Mark Affleck

BEWARE When OTHERS Leaves Your Vocabulary

September 9, 2021
Spiritual Growth

I spent half of my adult life with the word OTHERS cut out of my lexicon and vocabulary. Absent. Gone. Dead. The consequence? A decades-long, me-centric spree of success chasing and pleasure plundering. The casualties? PEOPLE. Those around me and those God would have my faith touch and inspire to deepen their own walk with God.

That’s a painful chapter in my life’s book, of course. But God has used it mightily to electrify my purpose for the waltz through life on this side of the Heavenly divide.

What he taught me along the way about OTHERS begins and ends with his LOVE.

The magnificence and depth of God’s LOVE for us must flow to OTHERS. Must means IMPERATIVE.

Growing in Christ and deepening our spiritual maturity cannot stop with HIS love for US. Our encounter with the Holy Spirit must be a valve that we open to flow into the lives of the people around us.
When God’s LOVE grows inside of us it produces fruit (Galatians 5:22-23). That fruit creates the inclination and motivation to love OTHERS at a level greater than we could ever muster on our own.
This blessing consumes us with the need—the IMPERATIVE—to share God’s love with others. As we become disciplined in and committed to this process, we learn that loving others and judging them at the same time should become IMPOSSIBLE because it’s wrong.
Since God is LOVE, our love for others must point them to HIM.
God showed how much He loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him. This is real love — not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
When we love each other, it gives people a glimpse of God because GOD IS LOVE. It can be difficult for people to understand God, but when we love others in His name, they experience a taste of that Heavenly LOVE.
Loving others often requires being willing to step down from our position of power and serve.
I want my life movie to be seen by others without judgment or duplicity. That’s why I ask God to give me openings in real life to share his love and grace and hope.
What do non-Christians you know or encounter say about YOUR LOVE FOR THEM?
“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:9-10

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