“This is real love—not that we loved God,
but that he loved us and sent his Son
as a sacrifice to take away our sins.”
1 John 4:10 NLT
I have to confess: this has been one of those weeks when I didn’t make a conscious effort to sit down and spend time with God every day. I put a couple things on “auto pilot” to tend to new and different challenges and found out the hard way that my auto pilot is unlicensed and extremely unreliable. Hard lesson learned.
BUT God is good and thankfully he doesn’t sit around and wait for me to show up every day. He comes to me [even when I bail on our time together]. This week he showed up in the form of Benjamin Franklin.
I guess it would be more accurate to say that, while researching something else, God let me stumble upon something that he used to bless me. It’s called the Ben Franklin Effect. “The Ben Franklin Effect is a proposed psychological phenomenon: A person who has performed a favor for someone is more likely to do another favor for that person than they would be if they had received a favor from that person.” (Wikipedia) When we commit acts of generosity and service for others, the love we feel for them grows deeper. The internal response is even deeper than what we would feel if THEY did something nice for US. His theory even goes one step farther and says that doing a favor for someone we don’t have fond feelings for could actually reverse that and plant a seed of fondness within ourselves towards them.
God built us with an internal mechanism to love more when we do for!
It totally fits with my Bible verse of the month:
“This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” (1 John 4:10 NLT)
God, our ultimate model of love, has been doing this since the beginning of time. He tells us that REAL love is action. Not action to gain a re-action, but pure, sacrificial, self-less action, as He did for us.
This week, I’m inspired to do two things in response to God (and Benny F.):
- Ask [at least] one person each day what I could do to help that day. If at all possible, I will then find a way to help them.
- Let others help me. I will drop my guard and shrug off my pride so that I can let someone else grow in Christ’s love by serving me or my family.
Comment below if you decide to join me in this week’s goal, and be sure to include how it impacted your life as you tried it!!
Dear Lord, thank you for growing me and sharpening me every moment of every day. Forgive me for not taking the time to sit at your feet and learn from you this week; I missed our time together and am so excited to get back in the saddle TODAY! Help me serve those in my life as you have taught me. Thank you for your awesome example of love. Amen.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/99458274@N02/16015824436″>A helping hand</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>