Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.1 PETER 4:8
Here’s a page from Bob Goff’s book of daily reflections, Live in Grace, Walk in Love:
I hear a lot of talk about people going into ministry or serving in ministry. I know it’s a term pastors and religious leaders use, but it feels a little weird to hear it thrown around so much. The guy working at the tire store probably won’t know what you’re talking about.
Most people don’t want to feel like someone’s stooping down to serve them. They just want someone to empathize with their situation. Whenever I’ve messed up, the least helpful thing I’ve ever received was a lecture. The most helpful thing I’ve ever received was someone’s agenda-free presence. They might’ve been a little older or even a little younger than me, but they never said they were “ministering” to me—they just thought we were friends.
I’m usually doing a good job serving people, right up until I start telling everyone I’m serving people. Because when I do, I make it all about me—and it’ll never be about Jesus if we make it about us. We all want to feel like we come together as equals, with each of us bringing something unique and vital to the table. That’s how friendship works: we join forces, knowing each of us has something to learn from the other, and both of us benefit from the relationship. You bring the brains, I bring the ice cream, and everyone wins. As soon as someone thinks they’re there to “minister,” we are no longer equals.
What if we all got together and schemed ways to go make more friends? Whether we make soup for people, or sit down and talk with discouraged kids, or do some tutoring—what if we just did it because it was Saturday or Tuesday and these are great days for new friends? It might make people feel like they’re sought after for friendship rather than approached as a project. There’s no need to give what we do a new label. Love already has a name.
What’s a simple act of love you can do this week to build a stronger friendship with someone?