Jerry Duncan

Jerry N. Duncan{&pipe}PhD, ABPP

As you think about how you want to be involved in meeting the needs of hurting people locally or around the world, remember the description used by one of Jesus’ closest friends: “During the time he was in Jerusalem, those days of the Passover Feast, many people noticed the signs he was displaying and, seeing they pointed straight to God, entrusted their lives to him.” (John 2:23)

How can we be certain that what we are doing will draw people into an intimate and personal relationship with God?

First, we must develop a clear understanding of what kind of actions “point straight to God.” Remember, God defines Himself as love.

Therefore, acts of purposeful and intentional love become our best shot at manifesting Him in tangible ways.

As I have shared with you before, Gary Chapman in his book “The Five Love Languages” does the best job I have seen at clearly and practically describing the five ways that people like to be loved.

The intriguing challenge is caring enough to discover what another individual’s “primary” love language is, so that that person can feel actively loved in the area most meaningful to him or her.

Once we are equipped with the knowledge of how to strategically love others in meaningful ways, our next task is to develop an ongoing, conscious awareness of our opportunities to love others.

May I suggest that developing an awareness of God can help in developing an awareness of the love needs of others?

A friend of Brother Lawrence in Practicing the Presence of God, records the letters he received from his friend in a monastery who describes how developing an awareness of God takes intentional practice. It will take practice developing an awareness of God.

We are busy people who oftentimes are only aware of God on Sunday mornings or when we pray at meal times.

A practiced, conscious awareness of God within us will allow us to be alert to His promptings to address the countless needs for love in the various interactions of our daily lives.

Can you see needs in others without God’s promptings? Of course you can.

It is hard to describe the difference between doing a good thing because it is a good thing, and doing a good thing because you know it is an opportunity designed by God Himself. I think you will notice and enjoy the difference.

The last element in this life of adventure is courage. Courage is doing the right thing in spite of your fear.

Fear of failure and fear of rejection have been “spoiling” our opportunities for loving others since time began.

If you decide to become aware of what love is, and if you are ready to love strategically and intentionally at God’s direction, get ready for a life of meaning and fulfilled purpose that is part of your original design.

Are you ready to start pointing?

Dr. Jerry Duncan is a board-certified psychologist and a licensed minister who resides in Norman.

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