Brad Taylor
8 min readApr 13, 2021

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Loving People

Title: How Do You Love the Person In Front of You (for the DMAK)

“Nobody ever does anything from purely altruistic motives. People always act from egotistic motives.” This was the statement from my college philosophy professor. When I heard it I was appalled and vehemently disagreed. Well, at least I did in my mind as I sat in class.

He then when on to give the example of being in a full mall parking lot on a cold, wet, snowy day in December. You have been circling the parking lot for several minutes trying to find an empty parking spot. Finally, you see one that just came open which is only a few feet from a mall door entrance. As you quickly proceed toward that spot you see an elderly women also wanting to park in the prime empty spot. You are there first and can easily park before she reaches the parking space. You were there first so by all rights the spot is yours if you want it.

Yet, you yield to the elderly lady and allow her to have the prime parking spot. Knowing it will most likely mean you driving the parking lot for several more minutes and eventually finding a spot much farther from the mall entrance.

The professor asked our class, “Why would you do that?”

He then went on to say ultimately you did it because it made you feel good. It wasn’t about the elderly lady and doing something for her with no benefit to you. You did it because it would make you feel good about yourself. You did it for personal benefit — egotistic motives.

This classroom experience happened almost forty years ago. I still think about it often. And, I have yet to satisfactorily disprove his statements.

So, before we address the question of “How do you love the person in front of you?” We need to address the WHY you should even worry about loving the person in front of you.

No, really! Why should you love the person in front of you? Why should you care about them? Why should you put their needs, welfare, good above your own?

What is the purpose behind loving the person in front of you?

The reason you love the person in front of you is because of You/My/Our Purpose is …

“To Glorify God by Making Disciples Among All Groups of People in the World.”

That’s WHY!!!

And when we are fulfilling our purpose as a Disciple Making Ambassador of the King (DMAK) we know we are pleasing the one who created us and saved us. This gives us satisfaction knowing we are doing our job. We are doing what we were created for. And doing what you were created for feels good.

We will investigate “As a DMAK … Loving the Person in Front of You” by starting with General Concepts followed by Practical Day-to-Day Application.

General Concepts:

Concept #1: The Fruits of the Holy Spirit are All Stated in a Positive Tense — Not a Negative. {Love — Joy — Peace — Patience — Kindness — Goodness — Faithfulness — Gentleness — Self Control}

The constant display of these characteristics is how a Christian should carry themself. These qualities should be seen, felt, and experienced when anyone is around a Christian.

Think about what your workplace, neighborhood, community would be like if every person who claimed to be a “Christian” lived with these characteristics as a routine part of their life. Would this not attract people to ask “What’s different about you people?”

If you are not living with these on a regular basis then you need to spend some serious time with God being completely open and honest. Ask for these to be who you are.

Concept #2: Is it the Holy Spirit or is it You Making People Uncomfortable?

The Holy Spirit within a Christian will make some people uncomfortable and even offend some. But it should be the Holy Spirit’s presence that does this. As it says in 2 Corinthians 2:14–17…

“But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.” (ESV)

But, it should NEVER be the rude, obnoxious, ungodly behavior of the “Christian” that makes offends and/or makes people uncomfortable. As it says in 1 Corinthians 1:22–24 …

“For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (ESV)

Concept #3: Actions vs Words — Which is More Important?

We’ve heard the saying ascribed to Saint Francis of Assisi, “Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary, use words.” Sorry to burst bubbles … But we have no proof he ever said this.

And, nice catchy saying, but it doesn’t line up with the Bible. In Romans 10:14–17 …

How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (ESV)

At some point, somebody has to say something! Sorry … You are expected to open your mouth whether you like it or not.

In fact, how can you say you Love and Care about someone if you’re not willing to open your mouth and share the Gospel. You can alleviate a person’s physical suffering — sometimes temporarily and sometimes permanently. But it’s still only a temporary relief from their suffering

Because if you don’t deal with the problem they have between themself and God they will still wind up suffering eternally — forever. How can that be a loving and caring attitude toward the person.

Back to the question … Actions vs Words — Which is More Important?

They are like the two wings of a plane. Both are needed. Your words must line up with your Actions. And your Actions must line up with your Words. Or nobody is going to listen.

Concept #4: Earning the Right to Share vs. Sharing Up Front? — Which is the Correct Approach?

You’ve probably all heard the idea that you need to “earn the right to share the Gospel with someone.”

Yet, others say you should share the Gospel with everybody. You don’t need to earn the right.

Earn the Right to Share vs. Share Up Front — Which approach is Correct?

Again, let’s go back to the wings on an airplane analogy. Both approaches are needed.

How do you know which is the correct approach for each circumstance? You must be In-Tune with the Holy Spirit.

What to do if you are not sure the correct approach in a specific situation? I recommend erring on the side of being too bold and up front. We don’t have a problem with waiting to “Earn the Right” to share. We mostly use this approach as an excuse to never share — ever!

Concept #5: They are NOT a Project!!!

They are a person God has put you in front who was created by God, for God, in God’s Image, and a person Jesus was willing to suffer and die for.

This person is the most important person in the world to you at that time. Treat them like it.

Let’s Get Practical Day-To-Day:

What does it look likes as a DMAK to practically live this out Day-To-Day “Loving the Person in Front of You”?

Here are six practical ways you can Love the Person in Front of You.

1 Listen to Them and Their Story

2 Pray with/for Them

3 Serve Them

4 Share Your Story with Them

5 Share God’s Story with Them

And in So Doing ….

Offering Them the Opportunity to Get Right with Their Creator

6 Follow the B-E-E-P Guidelines:

B = Brain — Keep your brain tuned to them and not wandering off

E = Eyes — Keep your eyes focused on them and not on what else is going on around you.

E = Ears — Keep your ears tuned to listen only to them and not what else in going on around you.

P = Phone — Turn your phone off or at least down so you will be interrupted as you converse with them.

This is Hard Because We are Selfish — At Least I Am:

This can be hard work. Why? Because we are selfish creatures. Remember my philosophy professor.

Loving the person in front of you requires putting their welfare, their good, and their best interest above your own. And doing this ALWAYS!

Doing this puts your pride at risk. It brings the possibility of embarrassment into play as you find yourself in unfamiliar and uncomfortable situations. It may result in an inconvenience to your already overbooked schedule.

At least these are true of myself. Maybe I’m alone in this struggle but, for some reason, I don’t believe I’m alone.

What’s the antidote to this? Each and every morning you need to be emptied of yourself and filled with the Holy Spirit. Otherwise living a consistent life of loving and caring for others as a DMAK is Impossible!

RECAP

As a DMAK … How Do You Love the Person In Front of You?

FIVE CONCEPTS;

1 Fruits of the Holy Spirit experienced by people who encounter us

2 Holy Spirit vs You Making People Uncomfortable

3 Actions vs Words — Which is More Important?

4 Earning the Right to Share vs. Sharing Up Front? — Which is the Correct Approach?

5 They are NOT a Project!!!

What It Looks Like Day-To-Day

1 Listen to Them and Their Story

2 Pray with/for Them

3 Serve Them

4 Share Your Story with Them

5 Share God’s Story with Them

And in So Doing ….

Offering Them the Opportunity to Get Right with Their Creator

6 BEEP

Next Steps to Developing God’s Heart:

Two Questions for you To Think About:

1st Based on What God Has Shown Me…What Am I Going to Do About It? — (Loving People)

2nd Who Am I Going to Share with What God Showed Me? — (Loving People)

Spend some time with God and listen to what He shows you in response to those questions. Then DO what He says.

Wrap Up:

Remember:

We are NOT About “Living for The Now”. We are About living NOW … FOR Eternity

Let us be about doing our Job!!!

Going out and serving as a Disciple Making Ambassador of the King (DMAK).

Until All Hear,

Brad Taylor

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