Hanging on our walls at HCF are banners that state our Mission and Values. We can see them every time we walk through the doors. They are there to remind us of things that are important. However, sometimes I get so accustomed to seeing them, I can become blind to them – just as blind as if I had never seen them.

If I’m honest, I have to admit that I get weary. I fail. I could do better. And it doesn’t matter how anyone else is doing – not the Pastor, not the Elders, not the Home Group leaders, not my friends, not my relatives. We all get “weary in well-doing” at times. So I can’t compare myself with others to evaluate how I’m doing in my life’s journey with the Lord.

Sometimes the circumstances of our lives can beat us up, or wear us out. But our walk with the Lord and His purpose for our lives doesn’t stop just because we get hurt or tired. So we have to ask, “OK, Lord, how can you use me anyway, in spite of the weariness and the pain?”

I talked with a friend today. This friend struggles with chronic physical pain – he really suffers. And yet, his attitude is cheerful. He chooses to look at his situation as an opportunity. I can’t help but believe that God honors that kind of attitude and that openness to be useful to Him no matter what we face in life.

So – I ask myself, “How am I doing with loving God completely, loving myself correctly, & loving others compassionately?” Am I spending time with God? Am I looking at myself the way HE sees me? Am I making effort to be friendly and gracious toward others, or do I just sit back and wait for them to be friendly toward me?

Am I revealing Jesus through building relationships? Am I building relationships at all? I have a great relationship with Jesus, but if I don’t build relationships with others, how can I reveal Him to anyone? This life is not a fairy tale where everyone automatically lives “happily ever after.” We are imperfect people, so our relationships will be imperfect. If we settle for the status quo and stop building, our relationships will naturally deteriorate. So I ask myself, have I neglected my loved ones and friends? Have I made any new friends? Am I rushing past people at the store, at school, or even in church – too busy to be sensitive to the possibility that the Holy Spirit might want me to show some kindness to someone? Do I need to slow down? Am I too focused on tasks instead of people?

These are tough questions. I don’t ask them to condemn myself or anyone else. I ask them so I can grow, so I can do better. I don’t want those banners in our auditorium to be just “words on a wall.” I want them to do what they were intended to do – to remind me that I have a purpose in this world beyond my own interests, that I have guiding values to live by.

Lord, I will draw near to You. Help me to see myself the way You see me, and give me YOUR heart for others. Open my eyes to both old and new relationships and show me how to build and connect in a way that reveals Your heart. In Jesus’s Name. Amen.

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