How to Live Ready with People:
1. Just do it: write, visit or call.
Take the time to make that visit you’ve been putting off. Reach out to someone in your neighborhood who needs a friend. Invite someone you haven’t seen in a while over for coffee. Send a kind note or an encouraging text. Don’t just think about it—do it. Live ready by living connected to other people.
“We must also consider how to encourage each other to show love and to do good things. We should not stop gathering together with other believers, as some of you are doing. Instead, we must continue to encourage each other even more as we see the day of the Lord coming” (Hebrews 10:24-25 GW).
2. Help others carry their load.
You don’t have to look very hard to find someone who is straining under a heavy load. Many are just trying to get by—be quick to help them. Babysit. Help a neighbor move. Cheer a friend on. Don’t let people you love bear their burdens alone. Remember, Christ is glorified every time you help someone else. Live ready by lending a hand.The Bible encourages us to:
“Help carry one another's burdens, and in this way you will obey the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2 GNT).
3. Don’t lose your cool.
Sure, people do dumb things. They often make frustrating mistakes. But so do you and I. Remember that when you lose your cool, you lose. Don’t expect people to be perfect—expect them to make mistakes. This will make offending you harder and being around you easier. Live ready with people by loosening up.
“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others” (Col. 3:12-13 NLT).
4. Say “I love you,” often.
Honestly, telling others that you love them can feel awkward. But I’ve learned that people really need to know (and to hear) that they’re loved. Don’t leave your loved ones in doubt. Let them know how you feel by saying “I love you,” out loud and often. Then live up to your words by being thoughtful and kind.
“So I give you a new command: Love each other deeply and fully. Remember the ways that I have loved you, and demonstrate your love for others in those same ways. Everyone will know you as My followers if you demonstrate your love to others” (Jn. 13:34-35 VOICE).
5. Live generously with open hands and an open heart.
Living generously is more than just giving money. It also means sharing your heart, time and talents. Someone needs what only you can give.Take inventory—you may be surprised at how much you have to share—and then use your gifts to serve. Fulfilling the needs of others will fulfill you.
“Give freely and spontaneously. Don’t have a stingy heart. The way you handle matters like this triggers God’s blessing in everything you do, all your work and ventures. There are always going to be poor and needy people among you. So I command you: Always be generous, open purse and hands, give to your neighbors…” (Deut. 15:10-11 MSG).
After meeting with Mark that day, I walked away from the coffee shop with a spring in my step and a full heart. He reminded me how precious this life is—and how brief. He taught me something valuable: to live ready with both God and people.
Possibly, today could be my (and your) last opportunity to do so.
“Now is the best time to start living ready,” Mark said. “You don’t have to drop dead to learn this lesson. Start today.”
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May Patterson has been writing and teaching Bible study classes for years. Last year she released her first book, “Seeking a Familiar Face.” Now, she has just released its companion Bible studyworkbook. May trained in small group dynamics for over ten years with Bible Study Fellowship, serving as a leader for four years. She has written for various magazines including Focus on the Family, Upper Room Magazine and iBelieve, and is a sought-after public speaker. May is married to her dear friend, Mike, and they have three grown children. She loves to tell stories, laugh, and talk about the adventure of seeking God. Read more from May by visiting: http://www.maypatterson.com.