To every action there is a reaction. In turn, these actions and reactions create expectations.
When someone behaves unexpectedly, we are surprised. When we do something that we didn't plan or expect, we are surprised.
The most important thing that we can do is to maximize our positive actions and minimize the negative ones.
I live in a residence with many other seniors. Most are very positive, and when we listen to the chatter when groups are together, we really don't notice the positive comments, because that is what is expected.
The other day, amongst the chatter, I turned to the person beside me and said, "Did you hear that?"
I was surprised to hear a person, who tends to be negative, quietly say something positive to one of the staff. It was not a significant comment, but it was unexpected, and so, I was surprised.
It made me think that I must be more careful in my reactions to others. Little things can make such a difference.
The following day, I noticed a lady walking past my table using a cane, obviously in pain. I made a sympathetic observation, and each day thereafter, her walking improved, minus the cane, and she smiled each time she passed my table.
It certainly was a minor thing that I did, but based on her smile, it meant something significant to her.
Jesus challenged us in His teachings to be a light unto others.
Matthew 5:14-16 – You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. (NIV)
There is the well-known little song by Harry Dixon Loes based on these verses:
- This little light of mine
I'm gonna let it shine.
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!
The light that shines is the light of love,
Lights the darkness from above.
It shines on me and it shines on you,
And it shows what the light of love can do.
I'm gonna shine my light both far and near,
I'm gonna shine my light both bright and clear.
Where there's a dark corner in this land
I'm gonna let my little light shine.
Finally, there is the challenge from the Old Testament:
Micah 6:8 – He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (ESV)
Prayer: Dear Father, thank You for the privilege of representing You to others. Help us to share Your love, even in surprising ways. Amen.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "From Ocean Unto Ocean" (Lyrics)