When Jesus Works a Room
When Jesus was physically here on earth, what would it have been like to be Mary or Martha or Lazarus or one of the disciples? What would it have been like to shoot the breeze with Jesus? To have a barbecue with Jesus? What would the conversations have been about?
I think they would have been all about adding value to you. About listening to you. About serving you. About loving you. When Jesus was in any sort of social context, do you know what His natural reaction was? To serve. When He met someone, His first thought was, How can I serve this person? He came into social settings thinking, How can I encourage other people here?
Why? Because He was full. He didn’t need anything from anyone. He came simply to add, to serve, to complete. His idea of “working a room” was not networking and smooth-talking and manipulating people for His own benefit. It was to make sure everyone walked out feeling better, thinking better, and knowing God better than when they walked in.
He wants to give to you, not take from you. He enjoys being with you because of who you are, not because of what you can do for Him. Jesus is not consumed with Himself.
You’ve probably met a few people who are truly secure. They have a sense of contentment in their lives. They know who they are. They are not concerned with comparison or competition, but they are at rest and at peace, and they continually add value to others. Maybe you are one of those people. I know I want to be one. I want to live like Jesus. I know that’s a bit of a cliché sometimes, but I really mean it.
Jesus always seemed to find creative ways to add value to people.
You know that kind of person — no matter how bad the meal was you just cooked, they find a way to compliment it. No matter how crazy your kids are behaving, they find a way to make you feel like amazing parents of amazing children.
Can you imagine what it would look like if all of us — families, friends, churches — lived and related and loved from a place of inner fullness? I think it would look a lot like heaven on earth.
Bad News, Good News
We have received from His fullness. — John 1:16, paraphrased
How do we receive? We don’t earn it. We don’t deserve it. We don’t develop it. We simply trust it, believe it, and receive it. Our mind-set should be, God, I receive from You fullness today. I am who I am by Your grace. I find my rest and contentment and peace in who You are through me. I’m not talking about repeating some formula or magic prayer, of course. I’m talking about becoming aware of what God has already made available to us.
We can receive from Jesus’ fullness to the point where we are emotionally, mentally, and spiritually complete and full.
This eradicates one of the greatest hurdles in relationships, friendships, and community: insecurity.
Insecurity is more than just an emotion: it is a deep sense of incompleteness, imperfection, deficiency, and lack. It paralyzes us relationally and socially, and it isolates us. People can be all around us, yet we feel profoundly alone because we think we don’t measure up or we aren’t good enough.
I’ve got bad news and good news. The bad news is, we are right in our self-assessment. We don’t measure up and we aren’t good enough. But the good news is, Jesus is enough. He’s more than enough, actually, and if we lean on Him and receive from Him, we will be enough as well.
Sometimes we think our personality types define our social skills, but that is not true. We all need friends. We all need community. When we find our security and completeness in Jesus, His fullness transcends our personality types and helps us become better friends, better spouses, better parents, better employees, and better neighbors.
It’s amazing how many people I run into in their forties, fifties, and sixties who say, “I just don’t have any good friends anymore.” You would think it would be easier to make friends the older we get, but in fact, it’s often harder. We get burned, we get disillusioned, we get manipulated, and eventually we give up. We start to keep people at arm’s length to protect ourselves.
Jesus wants to heal the hurts and remove the scar tissue. He wants to help us relate socially the way He did — thinking of others and serving others. Ironically, we are most protected against hurt not when we withdraw and isolate ourselves, but when we serve others with no strings attached.
When we find true friendship in Him, it frees us to discover real relationship with fellow human beings on this planet at a level we never thought possible. Jesus is the one who fills us. And when we’re full, we’re free.
Excerpted with permission from Life Is ____________ by Judah Smith, copyright Thomas Nelson.
* * *
Insecurity is something every single human being has to battle if we are to walk in love. How can I serve this person? How can I encourage other people here? Aren’t those such wonderful questions to ask when entering a room instead of Who’s looking at me? How do I make a good impression here? We want to be more like Jesus, build friendships as He did, love others as He did! How can you serve others today? Join the conversation on our blog. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily