Lenten Blog – 3/27/2018
Yesterday in our school chapel, we talked about Thoughtfulness. The book of Philippians talks about thoughtfulness like this:
“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” – Philippians 2:4
Thoughtfulness is a combination of thinking of others and making their needs and interests important to you. Both of these things can be difficult.
First, there is thinking about others. I confess that I struggle with this at times. I can get really focused on my current situation. Out of sight – Out of mind. I’ve had to explain more than once why I haven’t called/written someone in a while. It’s not that I don’t care, I’m just focused on what I’m doing at the time. What I have found to be helpful, though, is prayer. Not just praying that I would be mindful of others (which is great), but simply praying for others. I’ll often have a list either in my head or even written out and I go through and pray for everyone on the list. In addition to prayers for general welfare, if there is something a person is going through, I’ll pray specifically for that for that person. Obviously, you can’t do that without thinking about those people. After that time of prayer, I may contact people to see how things are going and often times I am reminded of them throughout the day.
The second part is making the needs and interests of others important to you. For this, we need to take our eyes off ourselves and get to know others. What are they going through? What interests do they have? How are they encouraged? etc. Often times putting yourself in the other person’s shoes can help, but we also need to keep in mind that the other person may not see things or react to things the same way you do. We’ve all gotten a gift from someone that didn’t really fit who we are. But as we get to know people better by considering them more, talking with them, and going through life with them, we learn more about how they see things and we can better address their needs and interests in more meaningful ways.
One of the most amazing things to me about God is that He thinks about us. He thinks about you. Seriously…GOD…thinks about us. As the Psalmist said:
“What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.”
He has formed us in our mother’s womb. Jesus intercedes for us before the Father. He knows our innermost being. The God of the universe who created galaxies and all that we see thinks of you and cares for you. Your needs are important to Him.
As we approach Good Friday and Easter, we are reminded how important our needs are to Jesus. He was willing to die for them. That is thoughtfulness in the extreme. That is love. That is Jesus.