Hear – Care – Share
“Most people need love and acceptance a lot more than they need advice.” — Bob Goff
Building a bridge with people is very rarely successful when you are coming to them with a hidden agenda. This is why Paul said the most powerful ingredient in our lives is LOVE. Paul said you have ‘faith, hope and love’, of these three things ‘love is the greatest’ (1 Cor 13). When people discern love emanating from your life to theirs, they tend to open themselves up to what you are offering them.
Everyone needs encouragement. Let me share with you a funny story:
A young couple, very much in love, were getting married in church. However, Sue the wife was very nervous about the big occasion and so the vicar chose one verse that he felt would be a great encouragement to them. The verse was 1 Jn 4:18 which says: “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear”. Rather unwisely, the vicar asked the best man to read it out and to say that the vicar had felt that this was a very apt verse for Sue and that he would be preaching on it later in the service. However the best man was not a regular churchgoer. And so he did not know the difference between John’s Gospel and the first letter of John. So he introduced his reading by saying that the vicar felt was a very apt verse for Sue. But he read John 4:18, which says
“You have five husbands and the one that you now have is not your husband.”
Haha. This is an example of ENCOURAGEMENT gone wrong! At least the vicar’s heart was in the right place – LOOKING to BRING ENCOURAGEMENT to a very nervous Bride.
Someone once said about encouragement “There are 2 billion people going to bed tonight feeling hungry”. To which the person being spoken to replied, “Yes, you maybe right. However, there are 3 billion going to bed hungry for a word of encouragement”.
Encouragement is the fuel that keeps people going in life. We are called to love people and encouragement is a powerful pill we can minister to people with. Have you ever walked away from a conversation where someone has taken time to compliment you in some way – your clothing, countenance or simply an uplifting statement to you? How did you feel? Like a million dollars!
I have a simple three word strategy when it comes to loving others:
HEAR, CARE, SHARE
1. Hear – Listen to People
You never know what is going on in someone’s life until you’ve listened to them and found out their journey. Make a decision to start to enquire and listen to people who come across your life. What is happening in their lives, what are they concerned about, what are they struggling with?
Don’t be in a hurry to fix them up
Just begin to listen to people. One of the issues of our digital age is that people are more lonely than ever before. Alone and disconnected.
2. Care – Start to Care about others
Get intentional about looking out for the needs of others. You would be amazed at what a phone call does, a cup of coffee does, a small hand written note does for others who might be struggling.
Reaching out and helping others is an act of generosity. You may never be on a platform in front of others but you stand on heaven’s platform every time you reach out to care for others.
3. Share – what God has given you for that person
Your testimony of how God has worked in your life is powerful! When you have a real story of how God has worked in you it ministers to others. But don’t be quick to jump in first on the sharing side of things. Remember the old adage:
“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”!
It’s That Time of the Year
Christmas can be very challenging to so many people. People may have lost a family member during the year. This time last year everyone was happily engaging around the Christmas table but this year the deceased family member is missing and everyone is feeling it. Many have struggled financially this year. Looking to find money to give to others when there is not much money is a challenge also. Some people are simply lonely and could do with a kind word, a kind gesture, some practical help.
Will you try the above strategy of HEAR, CARE, SHARE and see what a difference you can make to someone this Christmas.
Kind regards – Pastor James Anson