Ask Yourself This One Question

Nothing Matters More

I was on the final page this weekend of a book about our five senses. It’s been a delightful journey. It’s prompted me to tune more into my own senses the past few weeks. (I’ll review that book here on Wednesday.)

But as I read the final few paragraphs of the Epilogue, I was jarred by this statement by author Gretchen Rubin because it seemed out of place:

“Nothing matters more to me than people.”

Nonetheless, it’s a statement I agree with. I suppose it’s a statement that could be included in any book, regardless of the topic.

But do I live like it’s true in my own life?

Hate the Oppressor?

I’ve been paying closer attention to the news again the past few months. It’s prompted me to research some issues and to contact my legislators. Those are good things.

But reading the news has also stirred up some bad things in me. When I see how some people behave or I listen to the words some people use, I find myself growing disgusted with these people.

Is disgust an attitude I need to have?

Granted, we are designed to loathe injustice itself. We should always stand up for the weak, fight back against discrimination, stop abuse wherever it occurs.

But does that make it okay to actually hate the ones doing the oppressing (even as we hold them accountable)? It’s an easy line to cross.

Here’s the Question

Also this weekend, while rereading my notes from a different book, this single question posed by John Pavlovitz also stops me in my tracks:

“Do you care about other people?”

Well, of course I do. I care a lot about my people. And nice people, definitely. People on the same side of the issues, yes.

But those other people? The ones hoarding their rights above all else? The ones claiming Christ but acting unloving? The ones who don’t seem to care about others (in my opinion)?

To be honest, it’s harder to care about those people, the ones who are ruining things for the rest of us.

A Theology of Love

So with this question, “Do you care about other people?”, I’m reminded to do a heart-check. If my number one value is Love, am I aligned?

  • Am I engaging to love all people, or just people I agree with?
  • Do my activities show that?
  • Do my words say that?
  • Does my attitude match that?

John Pavlovitz also says, “Your theology is only valid to the degree that your life is loving.”

If I believe all human beings are made in the image of God, I need to respect each person as such. I don’t want to harbor bitter grudges toward people I disagree with.

Instead of despising each other, may we work together for the flourishing of every person, regardless of politics, gender, religion, nationality, etc.

We still may not like the people on the “opposite side” but we can try to communicate more civilly with them. We’re neighbors here. Not just to live together. But to love together.

“Do I care about other people?”

May we ask ourselves this question often. And really listen to our heart’s answer.

ask yourself this one question

Share your thoughts in the comments.

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10 thoughts on “Ask Yourself This One Question

  1. Martha J Orlando

    That is such an important and essential question that all of us should be asking, Lisa. I find myself struggling with those very issues some days, and then I remember that we are all made in God’s image. That always makes it easier to forgive and move on.

  2. Lux G.

    This is a beautiful reminder, Lisa. Sometimes we’re too focused on our issues and how we live our lives that we often forget others. And it seems we don’t care enough.

  3. Trudy

    This reminds me of the song – Love God, Love People.
    “We’re living in a world that keeps breakin’
    But if we wanna find the way to change it
    It all comes down to this
    Love God and love people”
    I love how you encourage us to examine our own hearts, Lisa. We all need that reminder. Thank you for being vulnerable in sharing yours. Love and blessings to you!

  4. Michele Morin

    Wow! Convicting! We Morins are a grumpy lot, and have even been overheard saying,” I hate people” when a new outrage comes to our attention.
    I’ve been overwhelmed lately with the sadness behind the news, the incomprehensible impact of disasters of all sorts.

  5. Cecelia Lester

    You ask a very interesting question, “Do I care about other people?” I have found that there are some people who are easier to care about than others. God did not give us permission to care less for those we find difficult. He said, “Love others as much a you love yourselves.”

  6. Donna

    Lisa, I love this, the initial quote, “nothing maters more to me than people”, drew me in because that’s exactly how I feel. Each person carries the image of God whether they are “christians” or not. I am always captured by people’s eyes which as windows to the soul often betray them, but they also show me Christ if I look long enough.

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