Today's Devotional Thought
October 28, 2011 by Rachel Piferi
Mindfulness in Relationships
I have a couple of topics that I am extremely passionate about. First, I am passionate about Bible Study and getting into God's Word and learning about him and his instructions for us. I am passionate about abundant living and learning how we can fulfill God's will for our lives and live the fullest most God-honoring life possible. And, I am very passionate about relationships with others. In fact, I am deeply grieved by how we seem to treat each other. Whether it is a deliberate attack on another person or an accidental rejection, women seem to be gifted at hurting each other.
I absolutely hate what I feel like when I have hurt someone else. I don't intentionally hurt others, but I know there are times when I accidentally hurt someone else. And, it is usually when I am focused on myself and not mindful of the other person.
As I have thought about relationships with others and how we seem to accidentally hurt each other, I am afraid that at times we just don't take them seriously enough. We don't consider others' perspectives or how someone else may receive what we say or do. And I think that we oftentimes unintentionally wound others with careless speech.
One of my role models in women's ministry is Lysa TerKeurst. And, one of the things I admire most about her is her intentional living and her discipline. Whether it be exercise or family or Bible study, she lives very intentionally and with great discipline. In a recent blog post, she described how she enters social situations with great discipline, care, and intentionality. She is disciplined in her interactions with others and very careful to not gossip, slander, or hurt others. In fact, she writes that she enters social situations with a plan of how she will treat them. The way I read it, she loves others enough to behave in the most God honoring way and by being very careful about her own behaviors.
Oh how I strive to love like that.
For a couple of years, I have prayed that God would just open my heart and mind to others' needs and perspectives and hurts. I have prayed that I would see others before I even see my own needs. And more than anything, I have prayed that I would be able to put myself aside and live intentionally and deliberately in love towards others. Towards my inner circle all the way out to the ones I casually interact with.
I know what it feels like to be wounded by another's unintentional speech and I know what it feels like to experience deliberate love from another in the form of mindful awareness of my needs (sometimes at the expense of their own). And, I certainly appreciate and want to give the latter to others. In fact, it is the deliberate attention to my needs that shows me the love of Christ. And when I receive that from another, it is almost as if Jesus himself is saying to me, "I notice you and I love you."
Loving others means thinking of them first and I believe, paying more attention to how we treat them. It means deliberately choosing to think of their needs before our own. It means committing to God and to others that we will love them with a lay down our lives, selfless love that originates with Jesus Christ.
Be mindful today of your interactions with others. And love them selflessly, mindfully, and deliberately.