THE ART OF CAR­ING

Activated - - NEWS - By Maria Fon­taine, adapted

My prayer is that in all the busy­ness of life, in the abun­dance of ur­gent needs and pri­or­i­ties, we don’t lose sight of how im­por­tant love is—both in the big pic­ture and in our daily choices and pri­or­i­ties. Some­times we for­get that all our ac­com­plish­ments are noth­ing with­out love. “If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I un­der­stood all of God’s se­cret plans and pos­sessed all knowl­edge, and if I had such faith that I could move moun­tains, but didn’t love oth­ers, I would be noth­ing. If I gave ev­ery­thing I have to the poor and even sac­ri­ficed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love oth­ers, I would have gained noth­ing.”

1 If we don’t have love, our sacrifice and hard work isn’t worth all that 1. 1 Corinthi­ans 13:2–3 NLT much and won’t bring forth the right re­sults.

Learn­ing to care for oth­ers is an art, and it’s one that there is al­ways room to grow in. For ex­am­ple, learn­ing how to man­i­fest love for oth­ers in the ways that they ap­pre­ci­ate and need, how to nurse them when they’re ill or af­flicted phys­i­cally, how to en­cour­age them when they’re dis­cour­aged, how to sup­port them when they’re busy, how to be a friend when they’re lonely or a safe­guard when they’re weak; learn­ing how to sup­port oth­ers spir­i­tu­ally with faith and hope that over­looks their mis­takes.

One of the beau­ti­ful things about love is that it adapts to the need. Depend­ing on the oc­ca­sion, love might mean be­ing quiet and re­spect­ing some­one’s need for si­lence. At other times, it might mean be­ing more out­go­ing to­ward them and talk­a­tive. There’s no set for­mula, so part of the work of lov­ing is find­ing out what the need is and how to meet it.

It’s mo­ti­vat­ing to think about what a com­mit­ment of love will do, and what a dif­fer­ence it will make for you per­son­ally, be­cause you will be ben­e­fit­ing as well from God’s love flow­ing through you. Your spirit will be strength­ened and ful­filled in new ways. It will cre­ate a vac­uum for God’s bless­ings and mir­a­cles.

May God’s love be with you to­day and al­ways. Maria Fon­taine and her hus­band, Peter Am­s­ter­dam, are di­rec­tors of the Fam­ily In­ter­na­tional, a Chris­tian com­mu­nity of faith.

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