Wednesday, July 15

As yourself

Scripture: Isaiah 25-28, Hebrews 13

Hebrews 13:3 Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies.

Observation

The author of Hebrews concludes his letter with a series of practical instructions: love each other, show hospitality, honor marriage, be content, remember your leaders and follow their example.  

And this one: remember those in prison as if you were there yourself; remember those being mistreated as if you felt their pain in your own body.  He urges them to personalize the suffering of others and treat it as their own.

Application

This is a practical application of “love your neighbor as you love yourself.”  

Not long ago, I was praying for someone who was sick, and I felt like the Lord whispered, “Pray for that person like it was you—or your wife—who was sick.”  It changed the way I prayed.  I was less casual, more insistent, more urgent.  

This applies not only to our prayers, but our help.  Help them like you want to be helped, as though it were you suffering or imprisoned.  I’m prone to be far more active and urgent in my help when it’s for my benefit, or the benefit of someone very close to me (family).  As Jesus-followers, we’re called to stretch that out beyond ourselves—to love others as we love ourselves.

Prayer: Lord, I’m naturally selfish.  Please help me to take that and bend it towards others—to love, pray and serve them as I would myself.