I want to be their friend but not their buddy. I want to be a true friend--one that holds them accountable, helps them out when they have need, rejoices when they are joyful, and cries with them in their sorrow. This is not an easy task. Often I am too selfish and too wrapped up in my own life to even think about walking with them through theirs. I must think about who and what I'm thinking about--I must be mindful and purposeful to love. Humans are wired to be selfish. This is a harsh, but true reality. No one has to teach a one-year-old to be selfish. They just automatically take a toy and attempt the word, "Mine!" A transformation is necessary.
"Don't live any longer the way this world lives. Let your way of thinking be completely changed. Then you will be able to test what God wants for you... Bless those who hurt you. Bless them, and do not call down curses on them. Be joyful with those who are joyful. Be sad with those who are sad. Agree with each other. Don't be proud. Be willing to be a friend of people who aren't considered important. Don't think that you are better than others. Don't pay back evil with evil. Be careful to do what is right. If possible, live in peace with everyone. Do that as much as you can." [Romans 12]
Breaking out of that selfish box is so fulfilling, but it is a daily choice. I can so easily forget about anyone and everyone but myself and my to-do list. But practice makes perfect. I can only hope one day it will be the easier thing to place others above myself.
However, I must clarify an important issue: I do not wish to be selfless and loving for the mere sake of being a better person or furthering humanity, but it is for a much greater cause--a much greater purpose. I want every person I meet to know and feel the love that his Creator has for him, even through the smallest act of kindness.
"For God so loved the world..."
I can scarcely believe that the Lord would want ME to help spread that message. But He does. I get nervous that I will screw up the plan, but still He calls. This is my life's goal Simple? Yes. Easy? Not always, but He will help me. "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in your weakness." :) Now, THAT is hopeful.