Have you ever looked at your life and wished you had something you didn’t? That’s true for all of us but I think it’s an important question to consider especially in regards to what we wish we would have received from other people. For example, maybe you have wished for a close friend who we can share everything with. Or maybe you wish for someone that you could ask any question to without fear of being judged. Every single one of us likely has relationships that we wish were different. We long for someone to connect with. We want someone we can share anything with or someone that can help us navigate the things we aren’t ready for.
As I thought about this wish today I realized something. The very things that I wished I had from others are so often the same things I’m not doing for anyone else. I want someone to be a mentor to me and yet how am I investing in someone else in the same way? I want someone who I can confess sins to but how willing am I to listen to the struggles of others? It’s easy to want something without being willing to do the same for another. It’s easy to want something forgetting the entire time that if it was so important to you, maybe it would be good for someone else too. What if instead we start doing for others things that we wish we had done for us?
Those words strike me as similar to the words of Jesus himself when he said to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Part of Jesus’ point, and the way we normally take this, is that we don’t do something harmful to someone because we wouldn’t want it done for us. That’s true and important. But there is another side to this. Doing to others as we would have them do to us can also be seen positively in that we do for someone else what we hope someone would do for us.
In this particular instance that would mean that if I would want someone to mentor me, I should be willing to mentor someone else. If I want someone to be comfortable confessing to me, then I must be willing to begin by confessing to them. If I want someone to be the closest of friends, I need to start being someone who does what close friends do.
Personally my great struggle is waiting for others to take the first step. Instead of doing something, I wait for someone else to act; to initiate something. What if I decided to act first? What if I decided to do the thing that I believe would bless me so that someone else is blessed?
I want to challenge you today to think proactively. Look for opportunities to bless other people. If you know of a new Christian, do something for them you wish would have done for you. If you know someone who is hurting, don’t wait for them to ask for help, show up with food or cookies or coffee and just let them know you care. Simply put: take the first step. Do for another what you want someone to do for you.