What to Covet
One summer day some years ago, a young Japanese man came to the door. It was in the upper 90's, and I knew that the young salesman had a hot miserable job. He asked if I wanted to buy one of his pictures. Well, no, I really didn't want any. He asked then if I would like to give him a donation for his schooling. I shook my head no and closed the door, but not before I saw his look of disappointment. That hurt look haunted me, and the Lord used that incident to show me my lack of love.
The next night I dreamed that someone told that young man, "Go to that lady's house, because she has the Spirit of Christ in her." He came eagerly expecting to be treated with patience and a generous loving spirit. Then he met me and I refused him. He turned away disappointed deciding that the Spirit of Christ was no different from that of the others on the street.
Although I recognized it was only a dream, I wondered "What kind of mindset can I have to prevent my turning away people I should welcome?" It didn't make me feel better to read in Psalm 146 that God is kind to the alien.
Then I read words by Salvation Army's Samuel Logan Bringle: "Above all, covet a heart full and flaming and overflowing with love. Pray for love. Stir up what love you have; exercise love. It is good to take the Bible and, with a concordance, hunt out the word "love" until we know all the Bible says on the subject.
"And then with a heart full of love, pour it out on the children, the Soldiers, backsliders, and cranky folks, and poor loveless sinners." declared Brengle.
After reading Bringle's words, I began to pray for a heart overflowing with love. Soon I began to notice a difference and the difference first appeared in my praying. I found myself praying for people I would not have thought of praying for and in fresh ways, with stronger desires.
Dear Lord, give me a heart full of Your love.
"Above all, love" (1 Peter 4:8).