It's absolutely normal to go through life making friends and looking for ways to enjoy life to the fullest. After all, isn't "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" our God-given right? Well, that may be our constitutional right, but the selfish pursuit of our own, personal happiness is not what God would have us to pursue.[featured-image size="featured" single_newwindow="false" alt="The Duggar family with the Tim and Franicia White family."]January 2014 - Our family with the Duggar family after praying in the New Year.[/featured-image]
The Great Commandment
I love what Jesus said in Matthew 22:36 when asked by the Pharisees what the "great commandment" was. His reply:
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
Can you imagine how transformational it'd be to our lives if we would just love our neighbor as much as we love ourselves? Oh, Jesus wasn't talking about just having pleasant, positive thoughts toward our neighbor. When He said love, He really meant love -- like each and every person wants to be loved. Our neighbors that we love as ourselves should KNOW that we love them.
Christians: Followers of Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is the standard by which we should all measure ourselves, and, as Christians, we must be followers of Jesus Christ. While we should never use others as the standard by which we live, other faithful Christians can serve as good examples and sources of encouragement for those of us who desire to be more Christ-like.
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and their family are a huge source of encouragement for my family and me. I've learned a great deal from Jim Bob about having realistic expectations and forsaking perfectionism. Both of their books, The Duggars: 20 and Counting and A Love that Multiplies include wonderful marriage, family and even financial advice.
Love Your Neighbor
James 1:27 reads,
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
How many people do you know that try to live with James 1:27 in mind? Sadly, I know very few people that live this way. Jim Bob and Michelle have been faithful to look for the "fatherless and widows." I was blessed to hear the testimony of one of these families the Duggars have blessed (and have been blessed by).
The Duggars probably never dreamed how much the Lord would use them in the lives of others. Because of their willingness to be used of God to love and bless others, they have been given the opportunity to touch the lives of people world-wide.
A Ministry Mindset: Disciple Others
Jim Bob and Michelle encourage their children to have a "ministry mindset." When we have a ministry mindset, we'll look for opportunities to minister to others. A mindset that is more wide-spread, however, is the mindset with the goal to be accepted, make the most friends, and be popular. If we have a ministry mindset, however, we will look for ways to bless others and disciple others rather than simply make friends.
Question: How about you? Are you living by the great commandment? Do you have a ministry mindset?