Reverend Dr. William H. Curtis

How Are You?

“Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Matthew 22:39 (NIV)

Some months ago, I was waiting for my lunch order to arrive. As I was waiting, I was approached by four different individuals, one after the other. Upon approach, each one asked me how I was doing.

When I framed my lips to answer, each one of them interrupted before I could even say anything. One proceeded to tell me about how they had just returned from having enjoyed vacation. Another showed me a picture on his phone of his brand-new car. The third asked me to pray because he was facing a health crisis. The fourth wanted me to purchase an auction item for a fundraiser.

I sat there and indulged each one of them. When the fourth walked away, I said to the waitress, “Uh, is it me?” Not one of them, after asking me how I was doing, postured themselves at any point to give me a chance to provide my response.

So for the rest of that week, I made it a spiritual discipline to ask people, “How are you doing?” and then stay quiet to hear their response. Because we live in a world of self-interest, most people I asked the question to treated me like it was not a legitimate one. But I wouldn’t let them dismiss it as a casual greeting. “No, no, no. How are you doing?”

And the things people began to share!

Jesus challenges us to weigh our spirituality by the offering of our lives, to make our exchanges, our interactions, and our encounters about our neighbors and not always about ourselves. God demonstrated His love for us by making it about us. He gave Jesus because He “so loved” us, as John 3:16 says.

Let’s follow His example and make our lives about loving others.