Another year of pandemic has passed; a new year has begun. These years of pandemic have made us truly conscious of how life is temporary, and death is unavoidable. Yet, in these same two years we have also seen recovery from illness and people returning to health, finding new ways of being together, doing business, being mindful and grateful.
We do not know what God has planned for our lives so perhaps we should live them in a way that keeps us ready for whatever comes our way. But, how?
Jesus commanded us to love each other and care for each other. Here are a few examples of what He wants us to do. These are from the ESV translation, but you can find them in any translation of the Bible you can access:
- Philippians 2:4 “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
- Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
- 1 John 3:17-18 “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but love in deed and in truth.”
- Galatians 6:9-10 “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone…”
- 1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
- Galatians 6:2 “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
- Luke 6:31 “…as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.”
- Colossians 3:12 “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience…”
We are to care for our families, friends, communities, and the world. That’s a lot of “do good”-ing! How is anyone to be that good all the time? It’s not a mystery. Resolve to be mindful and grateful for what God has done for us.
Gratefulness comes from knowing we received something of value. For Christians that is Jesus’ salvation. John 3:16 (NIV) reads, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” That’s always the reason to be grateful, to give thanks.
Mindfulness is being aware of how we are thinking and behaving. It’s hard enough to behave; how are we to also think rightly? Jesus said: “…the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and remind you of all that I said to you.” (John 14:26, NASB) Ask the Holy Spirit for help.
And how will we know if we are being the way Jesus wants us to be? We look at our results, our fruit: “…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness… against these things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22, ESV)
If, in your thoughts you feel love, joy, and peace, and your actions have been patient, kind, good, and faithful, you are being the way God wants you to be. If you fail sometimes, as we all do, just ask forgiveness from God, and say, “I will do better next time.” God forgives and wants you to learn so you can live a happy life. Caring for each other is the way to happiness.
This year let’s all resolve to care for others in our world the way God cares for us. Remember, Matthew 25:40: “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Happy New Year, family, and friends. Let’s make 2022 a year of a caring world. With God’s help that will make all things new!