My first ever home group gave me a mixture of emotions. Why did these people I hardly knew take such an interest in me? Their level of care and concern was touching and a bit unnerving, to tell the truth. They loved me suspiciously like family yet over the weeks; I began to see it was not contrived. Their care of me was warm and genuine and a revelation.
I won’t forget the invitation to have a meal with someone where they didn’t ask the usual question, “Is there anything you don’t eat?” They asked: “What is your absolute favourite food?”
Christians forget that this everyday love and care is actually a rare and beautiful thing, a distinct hallmark in a world where selfishness is positively encouraged.
Think about it, taking pictures of ourselves is now more popular than taking pictures of others. We are urged to have ‘Me time’; gather personal experiences; indulge in self-promotion on social media. Society has this unashamed obsession with self, not others.
So to be salt and light in 2016, a new determination to be thoughtful might be more radical than it sounds. It may shout about the love of God far louder than you expect.
Finances may be a bit lean straight after Christmas but the main thing to remember here is that the small things are the big things, because they really are.
It won’t cost to put yourself in someone else’s situation for a moment and make them feel special.
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If someone you know talks to you about financial problems, please let them know there is free help available from Christians Against Poverty by calling 0800 328 0006 or visiting capuk.org online.