Prayer, Prepare, Perform
And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful. Titus 3:14
It happens to the best of us. We think of an act of kindness we would like to do for someone but we fail to follow through. We intend to do it later but later never comes. We are full of good ideas and, yet, they never seem to come to fruition. In his letter to Titus, Paul instructed his people to learn how to make good works a priority in their lives. Gospel living is something we can learn to do or to do better. Loving our neighbor involves a three-step learning process.
The first step to loving others well is prayer. We must ask God for guidance on how best to help others. It might be more convenient for us to pay for someone’s coffee in a drive-thru but God may want us to actually sit and drink coffee with someone. Let’s ask for eyes that see what people truly need from us.
Then, we must prepare for the good work the Lord would have us to do. We’ve all heard that failing to plan is planning to fail. If we sense the Lord wanting us to spend time with someone, then let’s take the initiative to make space in our calendar. If we are gifted at cooking or baking, maybe we should always have extra ingredients on hand to fix a meal at a moment’s notice.
Finally, we must actually perform the good works for which we have prayed and prepared. This is the part that takes boldness and, for some of us, a little discomfort. But all the praying and planning are for naught if we don’t take it to the streets and love our neighbors. We can do it, sweet friends.