In my previous blog, I explained what I mean when I speak of 'dying for others.' Now that we have discussed it intellectually, let's take a look at how we can do that in practical terms.
One way is how you view yourself and the places where you find yourself. When you enter a room, notice who is there — intentionally approach whoever might possibly be alone. Notice anyone who may be isolated, even though the room is full or busy. Take emotional leadership over the situation; allow yourself to have concern for just such a person.
Endeavor to do this, even if it seems somewhat faulty, trembling, or inarticulate. Just reach out to bring that person in. Just be there!! Whenever I walk across a room, introvert that I may be, and welcome a stranger, as ineptly as I may do it, I am 'dying' for her. In reaching out to her, or simply being there with her in support — that is what I am recommending.
Another way is stop restricting your associations to only your friends — people that you are comfortable talking to. Make an effort to mix more broadly in social situations, whereby you might find yourself exposed to pain that someone is feeling. If you keep your conversations limited to the people you know, you won't run the risk of encountering that hurting person. But . . . it is THAT person you are seeking to find when you are willing to 'die for others.'
Each time you think, What would people say? . . . each occasion when you hesitate because What would my friends think? . . . whenever you are thinking I'm not comfortable doing this; I'm not good at this . . . each time you are stopped from doing something good by thoughts such as these, but then you proceed anyway — that is what I'm talking about.
Let me suggest a scene: You are headed into your favorite Starbucks, and there you see a man sitting on the sidewalk, leaning against the wall. He doesn't look anyone in the eye, but you know why he is there. Argh! Why can't these homeless people go somewhere else? Without you making eye contact with him either, you give him a buck or two, and then head inside for your coffee, shrugging off the unpleasant contact outside.
But suppose you don't go inside immediately. He looks dirty; he's probably smelly; he certainly needs a haircut and a shave. But, suppose you speak to him, and ask him his name. Suppose you attempt a short conversation with him, asking him questions, trying to learn his story. Suppose you see him as a fellow traveler on this road of life, and treat him that way. THAT is 'dying' for him. You are willing to set aside your own feelings as you risk finding out about what his might be.
As I said once already, above — THAT is what I'm talking about! God loves you, but God loves him, too.