What a great privilege our young people have to serve the Lord by helping where needed in their Christian school! It gives them an opportunity to learn and grow spiritually as well as be a huge help to the school. Miriam has such an opportunity as shown in this character strip. Miriam is volunteering to help with younger students by telling them a Bible story. She shows a love and compassion for the children and is even commended for her work. She deflects praise to herself by giving thanks to the Lord for the opportunity she has to serve and share the love of Jesus with others. She demonstrates a genuine affectionate spirit toward the students.
Affectionate is defined in the PACEs as demonstrating the same Godly love and compassion for others as Jesus Christ exhibited. The character traits affectionate and loving are very similar traits with different origins. Affectionate comes from the Greek word phileo-, which means a friendship love. Loving comes from the Greek word agapao-, which means a Godly love.
Scripture commands us to have the right kind of affections. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love [phileo-]; in honour preferring one another. (Romans 12:10) Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. (Colossians 3:2) So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us. (I Thessalonians 2:8)
There are many examples of affection in the Bible. King David exhibited this when he restored all of the land of King Saul to Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth. While the common practice of worldly kings was to eliminate the heirs of deposed royalty, David showed Christlike affection by saying, Mephibosheth thy master’s son shall eat bread always at my table. (II Samuel 9:10) David’s affection for his friend was evident through his actions toward Jonathan’s son.
Another example of affection in Scripture is found in the parable of the Good Samaritan. Not only had the wounded man been robbed, badly beaten, and left for dead, but those who hailed from the realm of religion and prestige passed him by. The Samaritan, who had the least amount to gain and the most to lose, showed true affection. How much more has our Saviour’s affection impacted our lives and countless others throughout history!
If we reflect a small fragment of Jesus’ love and compassion, it can be a testament of what He has done for us to a world in desperate need of His affection. May we be Christlike examples to all we encounter as we demonstrate affection for God’s Word, God’s work, God’s house, and God’s people.