Becoming a Caring Person — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

Becoming a Caring Person — Morning Devotions

Christians are called to love one another. To look not only to our own interests, but also to the interests of others.

By Chris WittsSunday 24 Sep 2023Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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I like the story Tony Campolo shares about a little boy who was intellectually handicapped. He was a great kid. Everyone loved him, and he got on well with others.

The teacher in his class was preparing a play for Christmas, and this little guy wanted to take part. But what part could she give him? So, she decided to make him the innkeeper. So, on the night of the Christmas play, Mary comes and knocks on the door of the inn. He opens the door and says simply, No room.

The kid behind him says, That’s right, that’s right urging him on with his next line. Mary was tired from her long journey to Bethlehem: I’m about to give birth to my child. If you don’t give me a room, the child will be born in the cold, cold night. Our little friend stood there not sure what his next line was, when the boy behind shoved him and whispered, Say no room. No room. Finally, the little boy turned around and said, I know what I’m supposed to say, but she can have my room.

Are You a Caring Person?

Some people are naturally caring and loving, just like the little boy in this story. He couldn’t help himself—he wanted to help. Are you a person who cares? It seems such an obvious question, doesn’t it? But you’d be surprised how often we are not nice to people. I’m talking about three words: affection, love, and compassion. Basic qualities which we admire in others.

It can be tempting to fall into a life of selfishness and to focus only on your own goals and desires. But your days will be far more rewarding if you think about what the people in your life are thinking and feeling. Being caring means providing a listening ear, noticing when someone needs help, and helping your community without asking for a reward. We give awards to others who show some remarkable act of unselfishness or bravery. We admire and respect them.

You may be too busy trying to further your own needs to always think about the impact that a certain thing you do or say can have on a person. Of course, this doesn’t mean that people always have to like or agree with everything you do. Sometimes, you have to do what you believe in without trying to pander to others. But if your behaviour is selfish, rude, or unpleasant, then you have to start thinking about making a change.

Being generous, whether it’s with your time or your money, can go a long way in being a more caring person. If you want to be caring, then you have to give to others and to not be selfish with what you do have. We all have busy schedules, but it’s important to make the time to donate your things, do favours for people in need, or just to compliment a person close to you. Be giving in all senses of the word without forgetting about yourself, and you’ll be on your way to being a more caring person.

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Love One Another

It was the playwright Eugene O’Neill who said, “We are born broken. We live by mending. And the grace of God is the glue.” How true, that God is the God of love and compassion. Christians are supposed to be loving and caring people who express God’s love to others in their attitude and actions. Some time ago, a man named Walter Levine was diagnosed with multiple myeloma—a type of bone cancer. Today he dedicates his life to helping others beat the disease. He says,

Ninety-nine percent of everything you do in life is attitude. If you have a relationship with God and you have the right attitude, you’re going to learn to ask the one question in life that covers everything: How can I help you?

Jesus put it this way: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35 – NIV).

One church chose Forty Days of Love as its theme for the lead up to Easter. Each week members of the congregation were encouraged to show their love and appreciation towards other people in different ways. The first week they were encouraged to send notes to people who had made positive contributions to their lives.

After the service a man in the congregation wanted to speak to his pastor. The pastor describes the man as ‘kind of macho, a former football player who loved to hunt and fish, a strong self-made man’. The man told his pastor, “I love you and I love this church, but I’m not going to participate in this Forty Days of Love stuff. It’s OK for some folks,” he said, “but it’s a little too sentimental and syrupy for me.”

Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:4)

A week went by. The next Sunday this man waited after church to see his pastor again. He told him: “I want to apologise for what I said last Sunday, about the Forty Days of Love. I realised on Wednesday that I was wrong.” “Wednesday?” his pastor repeated, “What happened on Wednesday?” “I got one of those letters!” the man said. The letter came as a total surprise. It was from a person the man never expected to hear from.

It touched him so deeply he now carries it around in his pocket all the time. “Every time I read it,” he said, “I get tears in my eyes.” It was a transforming moment in this man’s life. Suddenly he realised he was loved by others in the church. This changed his entire outlook. “I was so moved by that letter,” he said, “I sat down and wrote ten letters myself.”

The Bible tells us this in Philippians 2:3-4. Paul writes,

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

In other words: be genuinely concerned about others. Things happen when you are genuinely concerned about others.

First of all, you begin to forget your own problems. We seldom realise that. We think that when we are having trouble, we need to do something just for ourselves, something extravagant or indulgent. But that is not the answer. The Bible teaches us—and psychologists are learning—that the quickest way to get rid of our troubles is to become involved in helping someone else.