Post Author: Bill Pratt
This post is a little bit off the beat and path for Tough Questions Answered, but here goes anyway!
A couple nights ago, famed author and speaker Gary Chapman spoke at our church about his recent research and book project. The subject was how to live a loving life. Chapman interviewed people and asked them who the most loving people were that they knew. He then asked them what it was about those people that made them loving. He found that he could group their answers into 7 categories.
The first category is kindness. Kindness is doing or saying something that is beneficial to others.
The second category is patience. Patience is accepting the imperfections of others.
The third category is forgiveness . Forgiveness is the ability to release someone who has wronged you to the justice of God, and not continue to hold on to the pain they caused you.
The fourth category is courtesy. Courtesy is good manners and polite behavior. Chapman listed several examples of courtesy, such as saying “thank you,” asking others if they need help, or looking people in the eye when you talk to them. He stressed that the best way to be courteous is to think of every person you encounter as your friend. We don’t treat friends badly, but we often are discourteous to strangers.
The fifth category is humility. According to Chapman, humility is “stepping down so others can step up.” Put others’ interests before your own. Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.
The sixth category is generosity. Generosity is the giving of your time, abilities, and money to help others.
The seventh category is honesty. Honesty is, quite simply, telling the truth, even when you know it might hurt the person you’re speaking to.
If you want to be a loving person, and every Christian should, then these are the areas for you to work on. I know I need to work on them, and I thought maybe I would share them with you, so that you, too, could become a more loving person. With Christ’s help, it’s possible!