Caring For The People Around Us

It’s something we all experience, every day: interacting with someone(s) we’d rather avoid.

In my time with God today in John 21, He really challenged me about how selfish I can be in choosing my friendships and who I relate to on a daily basis.  Maybe you can relate as you think your ‘typical day’ – the patients you see, your roommate, the guy next door, the classmates you pass in the hallway.

You know the story from John 21: Peter has denied even knowing Jesus when He needed Peter most, but they haven’t talked about it yet.  All of a sudden, Jesus shows up and asks Peter three times, “Do you love me?”  A fair question given what Peter had done!  It was also embarrassing because it was public (see v.15 – “more than these”, the surrounding crowd).

Jesus tells Peter that He can show his love for Him by “feed[ing] my sheep.”  That is, Peter needs to care for the people around him out of love for Christ.  But, it wouldn’t be glamorous – it would hard, difficult work caring for the people Jesus (“my sheep”) put in his path.  The Book of Acts certainly gives testimony to this fact.

We’re just like Peter.  We often don’t really want to sacrificially care for the people Jesus chooses to put in front of us.  We want to care for “our sheep”, not His!  We sense this, but what can we do about it?

The passage gives us a bunch of clues, but one of them is in the simple fact that the disciples share a meal with Jesus here.  Back then – and even today – a meal signified intimacy.  It wasn’t just about stuffing their faces together.  It was about spending time with Christ and becoming more like Him as they sat, ate, and talked.  Part of our hope for becoming less selfish, and more open to caring for the people He brings to us, lies in simply spending time with Him on a regular basis.

So, who are the people in your life that you need supernatural help to care for?  Why not take a moment now and ‘feast’ with Him, asking Him for help?

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About Bryan Stoudt

On my personal website (bryanstoudt.com), I help Christians follow Jesus in a noisy, broken world. I also have the privilege of helping Philadelphia's healthcare students and professionals do this as Area Director for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA). More information at cmdaphiladelphia.org. On a personal note, I'm fortunate to be married to my wonderful wife, Sharon. Together, we have four fantastic children. In my spare time, I enjoy roasting coffee, running, reading and learning foreign languages.
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