Summary: In his book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis wrote, "Do not waste your time bothering whether you ’love’ your neighbor act as if you did. As soon as we do this, we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will present
How Trust and Love from God Brings Out the Best in a Person
Paul’s goal: "The goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith." (2 Tim. 1:5)
Illustration:In his book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis wrote, "Do not waste your time bothering whether you ’love’ your neighbor act as if you did. As soon as we do this, we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him. If you injure someone you dislike, you will find yourself disliking him more. If you do him a good turn, you will find yourself disliking him less."
Our Daily Bread, February 14.
1. Have you ever wondered why big salaries do not bring out the best in a person like love and trust? When people know they are loved and cared for they are motivated to give their best.
All the money in the world will not satisfy like faith and love.
In this passage, the people loved and trusted Paul so much that they did not want him to stop preaching and teaching. Paul’s great love and trust for the Ephesus elders engendered a reciprocal care and confidence for their teacher.
Do not expect your listeners to love your teaching unless they know you love and believe in them. People do not care how much we know until they know how much we care.
Illustration:Whoever loves much, does much.
Thomas a’ Kempis.
Illustration: To love at all is to be venerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin or your selfishness. But in that casket--safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable...The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers...of love is Hell.
C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves, Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc.,
Ask the Lord to help you to develop more of Paul’s ability to love and trust.
2. Love and trust bring out the best in a person because they tend to make great demands on our mind, will and emotions.
It is easy to spout out information like a tape recorder, but it is difficult to do it with love and confidence.
Few teachers are willing to spend as much time praying for greater love and confidence in their pupils as they are in their preparation.
Ask the Lord to help you follow Paul’s example of speaking the truth in love and confidence.
3. When people know that they are loved and believed in they generally respond in kind. The Ephesus elders wanted Paul to keep on talking well past midnight. Paul felt obliged to give them the best of his knowledge, wisdom and insights since he responded to their love and trust.
Ask the Lord to help you to teach to hungry hearts. Ask God to lead you to people who will make the most of your love and trust.
4. Love and trust for men must follow from our love and trust for Jesus. Paul knew that he could not continue to love and trust people unless he drew on the love and trust of God.
We all get overwhelmed with responsibilities when we forget that “To obey is better than sacrifice.” Do not allow the cart to be placed in front of the horse. It is impossible to love and trust people unless you do it out of a love and trust for the Lord.
Ask the Lord to help you grow in your love and trust for God and men.
5. Many people have hidden their gifts and abilities because they lack love and trust. Others are afraid to speak the truth because they do not feel loved or trusted.
Finally, some people hide their talents because they do not love and trust the Lord enough to protect them from the criticisms of men.
Paul knew that many of the Ephesus elders would become insular unless they had a model of a loving and trusting teacher to follow.
Ask the Lord to help you to draw out people’s gifts through greater love and trust.
6. Many people try to pass information along without the love and trust of a solid relationship. Millions are trying to communicate without love and trust.
Thousands try to sell their books and newsletters forgetting that people will not buy unless they trust and care for the author and his ideas.