Authentic Love Challenge
Think of someone you struggle relating to for some reason, perhaps even someone who has offended or slighted you in some way. Maybe someone with whom you seem to have nothing in common comes to mind. Think of someone who, for whatever reason, you struggle connecting with on anything but a superficial level.
As you think about this person, consider what Dietrich Bonhoeffer, German pastor and martyr for his role in helping Jews during the Nazi regime, said about friendship.
“The aim of friendship is exclusively determined by what God’s will for that person is.”
Jonathan lived out this principle in how he devoted himself to carrying out God’s will for David. His example shows authentic love in action based on what God wants rather than what human feelings and emotions might want. (Read the entire story in 1 Samuel 18-31.)
Now, here comes the challenge. Commit to praying for the person who just came to mind. As you pray, ask God to show you ways you can connect with that person. Ask Him to show you His will for that person’s life and how you can encourage that person in his/her walk with the Lord.
Know that the first step toward connecting with this person will likely feel uncomfortable at first and possibly even a bit scary. But chances are, once you take that first, initial step, the connection becomes easier. As you seek to show authentic love toward others, God will bless your efforts.