A friend from high school passed away last week. I read a lot of posts dedicated to him and a consistent comment that appeared was “he made everyone around him feel loved.” What a beautiful legacy. What an incredible way to be remembered.
It’s made me think a lot about the impression I leave on others – not what they think of me, my appearance or even specifically my words, but what they feel when they have spent time with me. Do they feel loved? Do they feel encouraged? Do they feel frustrated or annoyed?
I often pray for wisdom. I’m about to hit that point in my life where the first number of my age is a four and yet there are many times where I still feel like a little girl, unsure, unsteady. I realize that at this point in my life, people do not see me that way. I am often given big responsibilities and try not to show the sheer panic that lies underneath the smile on my face that says, “Sure, no problem.” So I find myself praying for wisdom, the right words, the right actions, the ability to discern situations and know the right course of action.
When I read this verse this morning I thought again of that friend, of the legacy of love he has left. I thought about how love and wisdom go together. This verse sums up the legacy that I want to leave behind when my day comes, the kind of wisdom I want to live with day in and day out. Read this little chunk of scripture to see the difference in earthly and heavenly wisdom:
James 3:13-17 (NIV, emphasis mine)
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
But wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.
I spent time with a friend yesterday and at the end of our conversation I felt inspired, a desire to deepen my relationship with God and strengthen my faith. I have to say, I was kind of surprised because I am supposed to have the mentoring role in this relationship, yet I very much felt like the student. At the end I was thinking about every word spoken and how I wanted to change pieces of me.
I want to live every day with this kind of wisdom, with actions that come from selflessness and the desire that others feel loved. That is the impression I want to leave in the heart of others.