“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” –Jesus (Luke 6:31, NIV)
About fourteen years ago I was watching Joyce Meyer on television, and she shared that God had spoken to her heart about the shopping carts she uses at the grocery store. It was a small, but loving thing to do for whoever had the responsibility of cleaning up the parking lot at the end of the day to put her shopping cart back at the front of the store next to the door where she got it. “I know if I worked there I would sure appreciate it if people put their shopping carts back – especially when it’s cold or raining. Plus, if they’re all put away where they belong, there’s no possibility of somebody running into it or the wind blowing it into someone’s car.”
The first time I started to leave my shopping cart in the parking lot after hearing her talk about it, I felt convicted. I stopped with my hand on the car door handle and heard God’s still, small voice deep inside, “By showing love to others in this way, you also show your love for me.” So I have been returning my shopping cart to the front of the store ever since. The only exception I have made to this was recent. It was pouring, I didn’t have an umbrella, and couldn’t risk getting my processors too wet (I have cochlear implants). So instead I left the cart in the cart “corral” right next to where I parked. (The next best thing, I thought.) That was the only time though – other than that, I always return the cart to the front of the store. And let’s face it – it’s not always convenient. Sometimes I’m in a rush to get somewhere. Sometimes the weather is horrible. Sometimes I’m in considerable pain or exhausted. But I have chosen to love people, and love, REAL love, is not something we can pick and choose depending on what is convenient for us at the time, and it does not depend on feelings. Love is a choice. Sure we can “feel” love (or not), but ultimately it always comes down to our choice.
I choose love.
Food for thought: Treating people with love takes many forms and truly knows no limits. What small things can you do differently to show love to others?