“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29).
Take in a deep breath, ahh, good! Now just imagine that same action and feeling, only within your soul.
What an amazing, relaxing, yet invigorating thought! The action of breathing is automatic, though I know for many who deal with illness it can be a laborious and trying task. Just like the scripture above, it sounds simple, but in reality it can be quite hard. Why?
Because consistently thinking about what we say and how it will affect others is an extraordinary characteristic that must be continuously nurtured. Seeing others through eyes opened wide and ears that truly listen is a battle–one that becomes even more difficult with chronic illness.
We, as sinners , tend to pick out flaws or characteristics we may not like in others. But Jesus’ view is much different than ours.
He looks at us all with eyes full of love, forgiveness, and compassion. He chooses to encourage us to continue on–to stand firm, to breathe in the life-giving oxygen we desperately need for our souls. Once we breathe in that life, is it not our responsibility to share that same life-giving breath with others? Someone who may be struggling, even those who may be our enemy?
Tammy Malby, author of The God Who Sees Me says, “We need to let ourselves be touched, breathe in the reality of others presence and need.” This is exactly what Jesus desires–for us to step into the life of another soul.
We are to do all that we can by our words, our actions, our very breath. We are to be an encouragement to people during their times of need. Jesus gave us salvation. We can offer them a breath of oxygen for their souls.
Prayer: Father, thank You for the gift of Your life giving breath You fill us with each day. I pray that we would choose to see others through eyes that see, ears that truly seek to listen, and a heart that seeks to be extraordinary in a world full of ordinary people, who need You. Amen.
About the author:
Diane Kalata, lives in Central Florida, she is blessed to have a wonderful husband, who is also her caregiver in illness, three grown children, one grand baby and more on the way. She is a cancer survivor, but continues to deal with chronic digestive and neuropathic issues. She loves art and writing. Her desire is to continually be an encouragement to others; looking daily for those “God opportunities” to share His love and truth with others.
What has helped you in your journey to see others in the same extraordinary way Christ sees you? How have you honed and nurtured those life giving characteristics in order to share it with others
When I read Diane’s devotional I was thinking of the group NeedtoBreathe and the song they have “Difference Maker.” I know it is hard when you feel worn out by the pain, but just take a small step in encouraging someone else and it will come back to you two-fold. Hoping you will hum along with this song as I do. -Lisa