Today I want us to learn from two men who were in prison. Both were innocent and wrongly convicted. One was on death row in the 1980s in Alabama for 30 years and one was chained in a Roman prison around AD61.
The teaching of one man and the story of the other both teach that we were designed and purposed to look out for the interests of others. We will learn and see that:
LOVE – SHOWS UP
DRINKS FROM THEIR CUP
WAITS AND LISTENS UP
NEVER STIRS UP
RESPONDS WITH A YUP
AND EVEN LOVES THEIR PUP.
LOVE NEVER, EVER GIVES UP.
BRYAN STEVENSON says:
“I don’t think we can change things until we get proximate, until we change narratives, until we allow our hope to lead us to do uncomfortable things.”
Php 2:3-4 (NIV)
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
“I was 29 and mowing the lawn at my mother’s house in Birmingham, Alabama, on a hot day in July 1985 when I looked up and saw two police officers. When my mom saw the handcuffs, she screamed. They asked me whether I owned a firearm, and I said no. They asked if my mother owned one, and I said yes. I asked the detective 50 times why I was being arrested. Eventually, he told me I was being arrested for a robbery. I told him, “You have the wrong man.” He said, “I don’t care whether you did it or not. You will be convicted.”
1. How much do I think about the interest of another person?
2. How much money have I spent on the interest of another person in the past 3 months?
3. How much time have I spent talking with a person about their interests in the past few weeks?
4. How much time have I spent participating in the interest of another person in the past few weeks?
5. When I meet a person, what percentage of the conversation is spent talking about me and my interests?
6. When I meet a person , what percentage of the conversation is spent talking about them and their welfare and their interests?
7. Do I know what the interests are of my spouse/children/neighbours/work colleagues/church members?
8. Do I intentionally show interest, encourage and promote the interests of my spouse and/or children or friend?
9. When I read about the interest of another person on social media do I ignore it? Brush past it? Engage with it? Comment on it? Encourage the person? Share their interest to help them?
10. Do I have any friends or relationships with people who have different interests than me?
11. When I am with another person, how many questions do I ask about that person? Do I show an interest in them, their family, their welfare? Do I ask questions to try and understand them and their interests?
12. When I fundraise or donate, do I only fundraise/donate to my own areas of interest or to the interests of others?