3rd September 2020

Heroes and Heroines 

“…God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
1 John 4:11 (NKJV)

It is said that much of life is a matter of how you see it.  Famously, the pessimist sees his glass as half-empty, while the optimist sees his glass as half-full.  But it also matters how we see other people, as that affects how we interact with them.  We all know people who have ‘problems,’ and it can become all too easy to begin to see people themselves as ‘problems.’  However, I have found that, far from being themselves problems, many people are actually real heroes and heroines in their day-to-day lives—somehow just coping, often with serious difficulties far beyond anyone else’s ability to alleviate or resolve.

Of course the challenges of life can take many forms, and everybody, at different times, in different ways and in varying degrees, has problems—in fact, the whole world is full of people struggling with their problems: true heroes and heroines, pressing on as best they can, facing the same issues each and every day, and somehow just managing to cope.  Seeing people as the heroes and heroines they are, really does change the way you perceive and respond to them.

Sometimes there are things we can do to help, but quite often it’s hard to see how we can be of much practical assistance.  Most people understand this and know when there is little or nothing anyone else can do to change their circumstances or relieve their difficulties.  What they need most is empathy—to know that someone else knows what they are going through and appreciates the efforts and sacrifices they are making in order to cope. Sometimes they may appreciate knowing that you will pray about their predicament – for them or with them. Sometimes we can offer practical support; or perhaps a tentative suggestion regarding some aspect of their situation.  But mostly it just requires us to remember that God gave us two ears and one mouth, which is always a good ratio to remember.  Being a good listener can take time and often involves some personal sacrifice, but it is a true service for those who thirst for someone to express their thoughts, hopes, fears, pain and worries to.

So as you look at other people in the world in which we live, try to see the heroes and heroines all around you, for they are everywhere.  Let it transform your approach to them.  And realise that even if all you can do is just to listen to them and pray for them, don’t imagine that it is of no value to them.  For many it may be all they want and all they need.

Prayer
Heavenly Father, please grant us the grace to see our fellow travellers along life’s journey as positively as You do, and to give of ourselves to them as we are able, in whatever way they and their circumstances allow.  In Jesus Christ’s name.
Amen

Study by Richard Whiting

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About the Author:
Richard Whiting is an Elder of Grace communion International now retired and living in Dumfries in South-West Scotland

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