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Heart Lessons

A little over a month ago there was a ban on some literary works by of one of my favourite authors – Dr. Suess. I was, however, glad to see that my very favourite book by Dr. Suess was not banned – “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”. The poem tells the story of how a heart can change, and that speaks to me! I’ve often found myself feeling like the Grinch in the story. Yes, there have been times that I have felt like the grumpy, Scrooge-like, selfish, miser at the beginning of the poem. But today I would like to focus on the Grinch at the end of the story and the important heart lesson that I’ve learned since starting as full-time staff at OIM.

The problem with poor old Grinch at the beginning of the poem is that his focus was on himself. Isn’t this true of the human condition? The more that we focus on what *I* have and what *I*want and compare to what others have, the more self-focused and unfulfilled we become. The book of James describes it quite well:

“For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.” (James 3:16)

As the selfish, greedy Grinch starts looking outward instead of inward, his heart and capacity to love actually starts to grow. As he starts giving, sharing and loving, his capacity to give, share and love increases!

And what happened then? Whoville they say,

That the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day!

What a great commentary on life! Surprise! Love works!

Before I started working at OIM, hopefully no one would have compared me TOO closely to the Grinch…But soon after starting work here, I noticed that as I turned my perspective outward and focused more on giving to our street friends and at-risk youth, I felt an increase in joy which then overflowed to other areas of my life, which then increased my capacity to love and give even more.

This is a tremendous, positive cycle to enter into! Love and joy then produce more love and joy! I don’t know if my heart has grown as much as three times the capacity that it had before, but I know that it has indeed grown since starting work at OIM!

This really shouldn’t be a surprise for us! The Bible is full of encouragement and directions to “love others” (Luke 10:27; John 15:12, 17; 1 Thessalonians 4:9; 1 Peter 1:22; 1 John 4:11; and many, many more).

“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." – Jesus (John 13:35)

Scripture also states that the very nature of God, our Creator and Sustainer, is LOVE (1 John 4:8b, 16)!

Today, I encourage us each to take a step back and to look outside ourselves. Look toward helping others be more joyful and meeting others’ needs. As a result, you will find that the great commodity of love will grow in your life! It’s a great investment! Ask the Lord who He would have you reach out in love today. It could be a family member, or co-worker, or an acquaintance, or a complete stranger that you cross paths with, that the Lord places on your heart. As you bless those around you, you will be blessed as well! This is how the Creator of the universe has made humankind – to love!

~Kevin, Youth Internship Coordinator

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