05 September 2009

Change Selfish to Selfless

I have some time on my hands tonight so I thought I would write. My friends are in bed. They have three kids, so early to bed, early to rise carries a whole new meaning. My schedule is not compatible, which leaves me with some time to kill before bed. I have had two days in New Haven, CT. I've never been here before, but I like it. It's my kind of town. The home of Yale University and an incredibly diverse population. I came here with one goal- see a long lost friend. Goal accomplished! What I didn't expect was the overwhelming tug on my heart for this area and a desire to find a way to show God's love. You can be sure of this, I will be back.

This was a leg of the trip that I was devoting to me and me alone. After all, I haven't seen them in eleven years. There really is nothing wrong with that. I expected to hang out and catch up. What I didn't expect was that I would end up with an opportunity to minister during my visit. Last night we were walking into an ice cream shop and a guy stopped me to ask for some money. My first thought was to ignore him and move on. After all, that was what I was trained to do. Just don't make eye contact and walk on by. As this thought was going through my mind I was hit by an overwhelming warmth in my heart. The words of an earlier blog entered my head, "Can't Look Away." Before I could walk past the man my heart halted me and I stopped to talk to him. I told him I wasn't going to give him money, but I would gladly buy him some food. He looked confused, either nobody had ever done that before, or food wasn't his purpose. Which ever didn't matter to me. After a long pause he said sure. We found a pizza place, bought some food and a beverage and walked back to the ice cream shop to over indulge in God's greatest gift to mankind, ICE CREAM! Which I did with all the gladness of my heart.

The purpose for this story isn't to pat myself on the back, or to get people to say, "Oh, isn't he doing great things," but instead to show the impact one act of love can have on others. Not only on the man who received the pizza, but on the friend I was with as well. I had just got done giving her a long soap box speech about helping those in need and how the church wasn't doing enough and how we needed to be more sensitive to those in need and yada, yada, yada. Now, not five minutes later I am put on the spot. Sure, it would have been easy to walk past and ignore the man, but I couldn't. I had inadvertently given myself a line of accountability that I now had to live up to. I had no choice but to help. Don't get me wrong, deep in my heart I wanted to help, but I still found myself resorting back to old habits and old prejudices. When it was all said and done, a man ate a meal and a friend saw Jesus' love in action. She commented on how happy the guy was with the food he received and I knew that God just gave me a moment to show a practical demonstration of what it is that I now live for. Sure, if I hadn't done what I did it could have hurt my credibility with my friend, but worse yet, it would have hurt the very God I serve.

The point I'm trying to get across is to be open to God. Let Him take a moment of self gratification (no matter how justifiable) and turn it into a moment for His love to shine. You never know who is watching and learning from you. Your words can only carry you so far, but your actions can carry you over the top. Studies show that kids learn more from what their parents do than they do from what they say. Other people learn from you the same way. The truth is that people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. My friend saw Jesus and His love alive. The man we served saw Jesus and His love alive. Once again I learned a valuable lesson about Jesus and bringing His love alive. God doesn't bring crap on us to teach us, but He does work in mysterious ways. The mystery never ceases to amaze me. What more could you want from one moment in God's loving arms. Be courageous, and step out to act on what you believe. Give yourself accountability with others so even in a moment of weakness you can be strong. Jesus loves you and He loves those you come in contact with as well. Let the love of Christ shine in all you say and do.


  1. Hey Scott, thanks for following my blog! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Love the idea you've running with here. My prayers are with you in your travels. Feel free to join the conversation anytime. See you around!

  2. Hi...I came across your blog. Thanks.. we all strive to be second. iamsecond.com


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