Do Also To Them

So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

—Matthew 7:12

 

A week or two ago, I was doing a photo session for a family of four in a nearby park.

The park borders a large lake and there are always a lot of birds near the water.

As I was photographing the family out in the open grass, a duck came walking up to us.

Since ducks are normally shy creatures that keep their distance, this was quite a delightful surprise.

He was probably hoping we had something to feed him.

He was going to make the first step in being friendly.

For whatever reason, he marched right up and melted our hearts.

I started taking photographs of the children with their new duck friend.

Why, if a duck wanted to be nice to us, we were going to be nice to him!

In the verse above, Jesus tells us to do to others what we wish they would do to us.

What would happen if we showed interest in people the way we wished they would be interested in our well being?

What if we would just take the first step and walk up to someone we do not know at work or church with a sincere smile and a cordial word?

Would their heart be open to friendship because of that first step on our part?

If a duck could be friendly to people he didn’t know, couldn’t I?

do also

 

Out Do

Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do one another in showing honor.

Romans 12:10
When I came home the other day, I had a gift waiting from a friend, along with a card. 

It was a small briefcase, printed with a photo of old world bottles and jars. 

She has often encouraged me with cards or gifts through the years, picking just the right times to bring a smile to my day. 

I have seen her thoughtfulness displayed in the lives of others, as well. 

Romans 12:10 tells us to:

Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do one another in showing honor.”

With each day that goes by, I want to remember that I have the power to help and encourage others just by greeting them with a smile, a kind word or doing a thoughtful deed.  

 

Delight in Honoring

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It was a gesture of friendship.

Some friends came over for dinner a few nights ago.

When they arrived, I was presented with a gracefully arranged bouquet of flowers.

I quickly found a vase, filled it with water and placed the blooms on the table.

The flowers are still blooming, as I now have them in my kitchen near a window.

Whenever someone does something nice for me, it shows a certain amount of honor.

Knowing this, their kindness is a lesson about how I should be treating others.

Romans 12:10 reads:

Love each other with brotherly affection and take delight in honoring each other.

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brotherly

A Friend Loves

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Today is my birthday.

I have been reading messages from my friends wishing me a happy day.

Many people at work said, “Happy birthday!” to me, as well.

At some point tonight, reading the messages on my phone and on my computer, I began thinking about the people who were contacting me.

One friend I had lived next door to when my second child was born.

Another couple of friends I had met when I was in the 4th grade.

Friends from high school and college were wishing me a great day along with people I had met in just the last few years.

I’m not quite sure how to express it, but having all these friends from different points in my life converge on the same day to communicate with me was, well…..stirring up some introspection.

It’s normal to look back over your life and think of good times, as well as bad times.

That usually happens just one chapter of life at a time, though, like randomly remembering your last year of college or the first year at a certain job.

Today, it was like reading the opening lines to practically every chapter in the book of my life as I saw friends’ names pop up on text messages and social media.

I am quietly considering what a great blessing my friendships have been over all these years.

Love cannot be purchased, but the bonds between those we have shared seasons of our lives with are priceless.

God has made me rich.

Rich with friends.

Rich with love.

Rich with life eternal in Him.

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A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.

—Proverbs 17:17

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