Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington
love, care, share

Love, Care, Share

 

In a world where love, care, and sharing seem to be in short supply, a friend’s prayer request brought deep conviction

Her request? “Pray that I ‘love deeply, care openly, share boldly.’”

Wow . . . and ouch.  This prayer request of hers has become mine, too.

 

Love deeply.

Before I speak a word of criticism. Before I share even well-meaning advice, whether asked-for or not. Before I act according to what I think is needed. Love deeply. I can only do that if I’ve been asking the Lord to give me His perspective on other people. To see them through His eyes. To see their wounds. Their pain. The deepest needs of their heart. To love deeply is not easy, and I cannot do it without the supernatural empowering of the Holy Spirit. But it’s what I want to do.

 

Care openly.

It’s not enough to love deeply if we don’t show it. Yes, I can pray for people. But how else can I show love? A card? A phone call? Run an errand? How about the gift of time—just being there? Caring openly means sacrificing something on my part. Time. Resources. Effort. ‘m not loving deeply unless I’m also caring openly.

 

Share boldly.

I know Christians who are bold in their sharing of the gospel. But love is missing. Care is missing. Their sharing is more like a slam with a sledgehammer than the communication of good news. Now more than ever, we Christians are often better known for what we are against than what we are for. Anti-this. Anti-that. Of course, we need to take an uncompromising stand for truth. But Jesus found a way to do that without beating people over the head with God’s Word. In fact, His harshest denunciation was directed not at unbelieving sinners but at the religious community of His day. Another ouch.

 

This prayer request to love deeply, care openly, and share boldly reminds me of the motto of Dallas Theological Seminary: “Teach Truth. Love Well.” It’s a paraphrase of a portion of Ephesians 4:15, “speaking the truth in love.”

What would happen if every Christian purposed to always speak truth in love, starting with me and you? Or as the above prayer request noted, to first love deeply and care openly before we share boldly? I’d like to find out, wouldn’t you?

 

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7 Comments

  1. Rayma Zugel

    What a great reminder Ava, and you are right, OUCH!

    I would love to be able to print this for the volunteers of Care Net if that is possible.

  2. Nancy E. Head

    What you describe is a faith live out loud.

  3. Melissa Henderson

    Love this! Sharing the love of God is something we all should do in every moment.

  4. Yvonne Morgan

    This is a great reminder and a prayer I need to say over my own life daily. Love, care and share! Great words of faith

  5. Jessica Brodie

    Amen amen to this. We must first love to care, and we cannot properly share unless our hearts are there too. Excellent reminder and encouragement.

  6. Melinda Viergever Inman

    This is the heart attitude we are called upon to seek: “Pray that I ‘love deeply, care openly, share boldly.’” When we follow in Jesus’ footsteps, this is how we end up living, just as He lived. We will get hurt in the process, just as Jesus was hurt. Walking with Him isn’t an easy road.

  7. Karen Friday

    Ava, I agree with your initial reaction to your friend’s prayer request, “Wow…ouch.” And you unpacked all three of these phrases so beautifully. The motto from the seminary is a great biblical mission statement. When we look at the life and ministry of Jesus, not one time did he compromise truth in order to love people, not one time. But he loved so well, from the heart.

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