Let me ask you a question.   How  many  times  has  someone  reached  out  to  you  in  life?  Think  about  it  for  a  few  minutes.   Have  you  ever  been  in  a  place  where  you  needed some  help  and  someone  was  there  with  the  help   you needed?  How did that make you feel?  There are people all around us that need help in some form or fashion.  So what keeps us from reaching out to those that are in need?  Sometimes it is pride.  Sometimes it is fear.  Sometimes we think we shouldn’t help because we don’t want to come across as prying into their life.

The thing is that Jesus says we should reach out to others.   He told us, “..whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”  Jesus calls us to live a life of compassion not just a life of purpose.  He has called us to “love your neighbor as yourself.”   What does he mean by “as yourself”?  If we are honest we think pretty of ourselves at times if not the majority of the time.

We are called to put others first – just like we put ourselves first.  But ‘reaching out’ goes beyond putting others first in everyday practices and activities.  It’s also putting their affairs and concerns before ours.

It means that we have to become truly compassionate about those around us and make them a priority over our wants and desires.  Lets be honest though.  Being compassionate towards others isn’t always a lot of fun.  We may have to give up our ‘rights’ and the things we like to do in order to put other people first in our lives.  It means that we might have to be willing to spend “our” time doing something for someone else that we really don’t want to do.  Is it really our time though – or is it really God’s time that he is letting us use while we live in this temporary home (earth)?
Reaching out can be an inconvenience if we don’t have a heart for God and a heart for people.  Why do we find it so hard to lay aside what we believe to be our personal “rights” and let those get in the way of being compassionate for others like Jesus calls us to be.
There have been times that I have felt put out by helping people.  I have even not helped people becuase and justified by saying, “I just don’t have time right now” when in reality I had a ton of free time.  There are a few things I know though.  I know I want to be known as someone who loves other people unconditionally.  To be known as someone who looks past the outward appearance and circumstance and sees the broken heart and possible the lostness of the person who is in need.

I still have a ways to go – but God is working on me with it.

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