Gary Smith

“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”  Galatians 6:10 [NIV]

It always amazes me when people that profess faith in Jesus Christ act in ways that are anything but Christ-like.

More often than not, these actions are not representative of what it means to be His, nor were they made or done in truly seeking the will of the Lord.

The verse printed above from Galatians states, “As we have opportunity.” That does not mean if it falls out of the sky and hits me in the head, then I will do it. It means that we should seek in every opportunity, “To good to all people, especially to those that belong to the family of believers.”

Sadly, there are way too many of us professing Christians that more resemble Judas than Jesus.

I recently read the following story and it truly nudged my heart. Therefore, I obtained the author’s permission to share it.  

We walked out of the sanctuary and into our church’s main lobby. I thought my husband was headed toward our usual corner where we typically chat with a few friends after service.

But my husband veered off to a different side of the lobby. When I spotted him, I noticed his arm was around the shoulder of a fellow church attendee. The 2 appeared engrossed in a deep conversation.

As we drove home, I couldn’t help but ask what that conversation was all about.

My husband filled me in: “During the service, I noticed that man’s socks. I noticed his socks because of the holes he had in his shoes. I felt a strong nudge in my heart to buy the man a pair of shoes … so I was asking the man his shoe size.”

We’ve attended this church for over 20 years. It’s a fairly large congregation with multiple service times, so meeting new people was nothing new for my husband. But walking up to someone he has never spoken to before and asking him his shoe size? Now that was a 1st.

I continued my questioning: “Oh, wow … was he surprised? Was he insulted? Does he simply like his old shoes?”

My husband replied, “No, he wasn’t insulted at all. His eyes filled up, and his chin quivered. He actually seemed moved. I gave him my number and asked him to call me. I told him I’d like to meet up with him at the mall.”

Two days later, my husband and the man met. There, in the food court, this man shared his story. A few poor choices had led him to where he was. He was thankful for a stable job, but he still had a long way to go.

He told my husband, “I don’t do well with handouts. I accepted your offer because I knew it was God. I have a funeral to attend later this week. This past Sunday morning when you approached me, I had just looked through my closet to see if I had a pair of shoes decent enough to wear to the funeral. I didn’t. So I asked God that morning if He could somehow provide a pair of shoes. When you asked my shoe size, I knew God had heard my prayer. I was overwhelmed by God.”

After purchasing the shoes, my husband asked his new friend if there was anything else he needed. “No, thank you,” his friend replied. “I’m good. I just asked God for shoes”  [used by permission].

Folks, this is the essence of love. Love does. It is an action word, not merely an emotion or a feeling. True love does not act out of selfish interests and desires, rather it acts positively to others.

Since February is the official “love” month, I challenge you to start putting love into action.  Pray and ask God to bring a “new friend” across your path or seek out someone who might need to be loved on.  Maybe you are reading this and are the one who needs to be loved. I urge you to pray that God will bring a “new friend” into your life.

Let’s begin to spread God’s love right here in Hampshire County. Then sit back and watch what He can and will do.  

Live in grace… walk in love.

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