A few days ago I started a conversation about choices. Our lives are shaped choices or decisions we make. Choices, even small ones, change the course of our lives in pretty significant ways.
Today, I want to highlight the 2nd of 4 choices that I believe could make a big difference in your life. These four choices are simple but powerful.
Choice # 1 is to Love God
Choice # 2 is to Love People
It’s impossible to read the gospels without seeing that Jesus loved people. He modeled it.
In fact, in Mathew 9, we find Jesus passing through a city that was jam-packed. He could have kept going. He could have stayed “on mission”. Yet the Bible says that Jesus saw the crowd and had compassion for them. That word “compassion” literally means that he felt for them in his core.
He didn’t just see a crowd. He saw people.
The Apostle Paul, one of the early leaders in the church, had a similar take on people. In one of the letters he wrote to a group of churches, he said, “We loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. ” (1 Thessalonians 2:8)
This choice is powerful. What I’ve found is that real life change happens in the context of relationships.
Loving Others Well
1. See the potential in people.
John Maxwell suggests that we put a 10 on someone’s forehead when we meet them. What this means is you rate them a 10 on a scale of 1-10. Instead of looking for what’s wrong, you choose to assume the best about them and believe the best about them.
2. Speak life into them.
One of the greatest gifts you can give another person is to speak words of life and affirmation into them. Most people, regardless of how secure they look on the outside, are wrestling with severe insecurities on the inside of them.
It is not uncommon for a leader to tell me behind closed doors that they feel like an imposter. They live as though one day, they’ll be “found out.”
You can speak words of life into the person and describe the potential you see inside of them.
3. Add value to them.
Try to go into every interaction you have with others with the mindset that you want to add value to them instead of taking it away from them. Connect with others. Point them to great resources. Seek to help bring a positive change in their life.
The best way I know to do this is to openly speak of the things of God with them.
I got a text this week from a really good friend who wore one of my Your Story Matters shirts to a local coffee shop. The phrase on the shirt opened the door to talk about Jesus. That’s a fantastic way to love people.
I’ll close with this. Loving people isn’t always easy.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
The closer we are to God, the easier it is to love the people He loves.
So that’s decision two. I’m going to choose to love God. And I’m going to choose to love people. It’ll make all the difference in the world.