“Always leave people better than you found them. Hug the hurt. Kiss the broken. Befriend the lost. Love the lonely.” ~ Unknown
Why is that so hard to consider? It seems that, whenever we encounter anyone, we begin the subtle — or not so subtle — process of changing them. The change that we attempt to wrought is oftentimes not for their own good. The change that we attempt to bring about is for our own means. We want them to be more open to us, more generous to us, more available to us, et cetera. We may not care what that change may do to them, we just want the change to benefit us.
That is not how we should approach people. We should approach people with the desire to make them better. If they are lonely, we should be their friend and companion. If they are hurting, we should help to heal them. If they are unsure, we should help them to gain the confidence they need. In short, we should be about their betterment for their own good.
That is one of the definitions of love: to desire the good for another.
If you think about it, that was what Jesus did. He did not want to change us to fit His own means, His desire was for our best good. He knew that it would benefit us to break free from the shackles of sin and He gave us all the means necessary to do so. But, and this is crucial, He did not and does not force us to do anything. He invites us, as a true friend should. Of course, He want us to choose the good; but, He will never force our hand. That is the wonderful gift of free will.
As we should not force others to change, Jesus does not force us. As we should invite others to change for their own good, Jesus invites us to change for our own good. Jesus, the best friend a person could ever have, models friendship for us so that we might be better for others.
FAITH ACTION: Make today about someone else today rather than about yourself.