Recently a resident at Haven for Hope came to speak to me about a problem he was having and during that time shared a piece of paper with 10 guidelines he used to help him love others and himself. He was there seeking my help but instead blessed me with these guidelines to loving others that I now apply every day, I hope they will bless you as much as they have me:
1. Listen w/o interrupting-We have all heard the saying, God gave you two ears and one mouth so you could listen twice as much as you speak. Listen to others with intentionality and genuine care for what they have to say.
2. Speak without accusing-Jumping to conclusions and playing the blame game is something we all fall into and have to learn to stop. Rather than accusing, why don't we try to first find out what really happened, understand it, and focus on how we can help prevent it from happening again.
3. Give without sparing-Yes, give without always worrying about how much you owe or the bills you have to pay. No I am not telling anyone to give it all away, just that when the Lord presents an opportunity for you to bless others, don't think about it just simply do it. I think the Lord has a grasp on what your financial obligations are and will make sure that you have what you need. You know like the birds and the lilies of the field.
4. Pray without ceasing-Prayer doesn't have to start and stop, it can be a constant that happens throughout your day as situations and needs arise.
5. Answer without arguing-Oh how we love to argue, debate and find someone to talk about rather than simply learning to respond to challenges with a great deal of love. Yes even when someone challenges you and you know that they read into it based on what they are feeling and assuming, humility requires that we respond without creating an argument.
6. Share without pretending-Share it freely without regret or pretending to mean it when you really don't. What God has given us should be a blessing to others without any regret.
7. Enjoy without complaint-We love to complain rather than take the time to rejoice about the many blessings God gives us. For some it is not the blessing but how the blessing was delivered that becomes the problem. They are so stuck on themselves they can't see the blessing for what it is and have to always find something to complain or second guess others about.
8. Trust without wavering-We must trust even when things get tough and don't seem to be going our way. Anyone can trust when all goes well, the true challenge is how much we trust when things don't seem to be going our way.
9. Forgive without punishing-Wow this one is a tough one, we have been conditioned that there has to be a consequence, a punishment when people to us wrong. But the fact is that nothing prevents us from forgiving someone and leaving it right there. I guess the opposite is true, when someone does wrong and action is required that results in punishment, then we are not forgiving the person but holding them accountable. Know the difference!
10. Promise without forgetting-Never forget to honor your promises or your word. If you make the commitment then make every effort to ensure you follow through.
Well, these will definitely help us love others the way Christ would expect us to love them and at the same time teach us how to better love ourselves. Just a little advice to go!