CARE

“People don’t care about what you know until they know how much you care!” Care is my word for 2015. I have been thinking about my word, meaning a word that I want to focus on in 2015…a word that would encompass my vision, my spiritual gifts and grow me as a person.

Funny, as I have been praying about several words, the one that kept popping up everywhere was the word care. The more I have prayed, the more I have seen the word “Care” everywhere–from a lighted billboard on our drive to Florida recently to two books I read over Christmas. The emphasis in both books was, you guessed it, “care”.

I had no idea when I bought the books that they would talk about “caring”. Two days after Christmas I also received a card with the word “care” on the front. The word has literally been e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. Even in the grocery line there was a sign that said, “Give if you CARE.” I know God wants me to just keep it simple and “Care.”

When you care about people…..funny thing…it changes you. I am not talking about trying to care. I am talking about truly caring…caring enough to pray, to get involved, to follow up, whatever God shows me “care” looks like. Maybe caring means just going the “extra mile.”

Recently, I was able to share Christ and counsel with a young man who was struggling. He was helping me get my phone issues resolved and, in the process, I was able to suggest some solutions to his life issues. I recommended several books that I thought might help him. As I left the store…God impressed upon me, like He always does, that I needed to do more. (I know it must be from God if it is about helping someone else.) Simply caring would mean me buying one of the books and giving it to this young man.

You see, he was a stranger. I may not ever see him again. I pray that our conversation was seasoned with grace and care, but to make sure he knew I cared….God impressed upon me to take it one step further! It really wasn’t about what I did for him as much as it was about him really knowing he was “cared for!” If I went to the trouble and expense to find the book and deliver it, there would be no doubt that I wanted him to know I cared! Even bigger, God cares.

I realize that in order to care like I think God wants me to care, I need to listen carefully to Him and be sensitive at all times to those around me…people that He places in my path.

Caring can mean anything–
from listening…attentively,
to praying for someone,
to buying someone a book,
or it could mean taking someone for their chemo treatment…….!

I don’t know what God has in mind but I know “CARE” is the word for me in 2015 and I believe there will be sacrifice involved. I have now learned that “sacrifice” is a very positive thing. It is when I grow and learn the most…and also…it becomes less and less about “me!”

Matthew 25 talks about the day when God will separate out true believers. There is a lot packed in the passage but I want to focus on what the righteous man did in verses 37-40. “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”

Practical stuff. Doing it for the right reasons. Not making it about ourselves.

Sometimes I think we can make life…and a relationship with God way too complicated. When we trust God and surrender to Him, seeking Him out in the quiet of our minds and hearts, He will not make us guess…nor will He hide. He wants to show us and reveal Himself to us. We just have to be willing to “look!”

I encourage you to keep it simple in 2015…maybe just pray about and pick a word…that you can focus on. Ask God to manifest that word to the fullest in your life!

Words like kind, generous, patient.

You pick. Just one word. Then decide that this word….in a year…will be a word that others can use to describe you.

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