Tonight we had dinner with 2 couples from our church and had such a good time. The boys were pretty well-behaved and it was just a pleasant evening. It was so nice to be in the home of people that we care about and to whom we have been called. We truly believe that God has given us these people in this church and community to love. As we considered a call to overseas missions before ending up here, this place seems even more evidently our current mission field than it might otherwise seem. God clearly placed us here in this place and it is so good to remember that. I don't want to get caught up in living life that I forget what God has called us to. As we make friends and get to know people, I want to keep in mind my duty to love as Christ loved me and the mission He gave our family to minister in His name.
And so even in the middle of comfortable conversation and easy fellowship around the table, may I be mindful that I am to be living out the Gospel in my interactions. What does this mean? Most obviously, it means that my conversation should be seasoned with grace and not gossip, sarcasm, or complaining. That I must seek to love what God loves and hate what God hates in the way that I speak. Am I speaking about my children to others in a way that shows that I consider them a blessing or a curse? Am I treating the reputations of others with care and love in the way that I speak of those not present?
It also means that it should be the goal of my heart not to just share easy conversation, but to use time with fellow believers to truly encourage them in the faith. This is a hard one. I can carry on a conversation, but my words will wither and pass away. It is only the word of the Lord that will stand forever. May I be mindful of opportunities to take conversations deeper and to encourage a real struggle with the faith and a transparent trust in my Lord.
I am praying that as I have opportunities in growing relationships that God will grant me the ability to speak the truth in love and to spur others on towards love and good deeds. I know I need people like that in my life and that is who I want to become.