Most of us have prayed a version of this prayer, “Lord, USE ME! I will do whatever you want. Give, Love, Serve…you name it and I will do it!” 

I know I have prayed this prayer hundreds of times in my life. I specifically remember crying out to Jesus one day asking him to break my heart for people.  The environment was set…I had worship music playing softly in the background, the lights in the room were set low, Tyann and the boys were out doing various things.  With tears in my eyes, I begged him, LORD, HELP ME LOVE EVERYONE! I want to be an ENCOURAGER to everyone I meet! I want PEOPLE to know WHO YOU ARE!!!!  As I cried out to him, I genuinely felt the power of His presence.  I felt completely surrendered in that moment. 

I came up from my prayer time feeling so refreshed and revitalized. So encouraged. So excited about how I was going to “Love like Jesus.” 

The next morning, I made a quick run to the grocery store and saw a co-worker in one of the aisles. A few weeks back he had said some pretty nasty things about my admin assistant to a group of people. He didn’t know that I knew, but I knew. I wasn’t still mad at him…so I thought in my heart. I started rationalizing my thoughts, “He can stay right over there with his gossiping self and I will pray for him from afar.”  As we made eye contact, he started walking towards me, I silently rolled my eyes… in my HEART… not on my FACE…I wouldn’t publicly roll my eyes, because you know, that’s not the “Christian thing to do.”

As SOON as I started to speak to him, these two scriptures popped up in my mind:

Romans 12:9 – Don’t pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 

Jeremiah 17:10 – The Lord searches all hearts and He examines secret motives. 

I could hear Jesus speaking to my heart: “Jeff, didn’t you ask me to help you love EVERYONE?”

Immediately, I was convicted.

I wasn’t in that barely lit room, basking in the presence of the Lord. I didn’t hear Hillsong in the background singing Oceans. I was in a very public place. No bells. No whistles. And I sure didn’t feel like encouraging this man that I knew bashed my friend.

Did I really think that I could pick and choose who I get to love? My words were being tested…No, my heart was being tested. At your job, at the gym, in the car, or in the classroom…that is where we are most often TESTED on the things we have cried out to God at church, at the altar, in our prayer room. These are our OPPORTUNITIES to develop into the people we pray to be.

Oh yeah, I passed my test. I told the man I loved him and was praying for God to give him opportunities to speak life into people 🙂  “The more you say YES to Jesus, the more you become like Him.”