Saturday, March 4, 2017

Out Crowd

You have the power to make the difference in somebody’s life simply by reaching out.
One of my favorite things about 21 Days of prayer (which we are currently in) each semester is what you learn about people. I generally send out a couple of dozen texts to people that God puts on my heart and ask them how I can specifically pray for them. It never ceases to amaze me the heart behind what people confide in me. Everybody is going through something and most of them would never let you know if you didn’t ask them. I had no idea what people I see all the time were really going through. Think about that for a second: You have the power to make the difference in somebody’s life simply by reaching out. Some people are champions at this, but there are so many of us that only think about ourselves!
It’s time to start thinking about others; first. I was reminded this week “that people are truly the only thing that really matters.” The things you do today can have an impact on the future. Choose to live your life in a way that is worth passing down. It was interesting to me that out of all the people I asked for prayer requests only about 20% asked if they could pray for me. I’m not saying that to call anybody out, but to emphasize the mindset of this generation. We worry about ourselves and never bother to look any further.
Let’s change that. I can almost guarantee you that if you truly open your eyes to those around you, God would show you the hurting and lonely. I bet there are some in your life right now that are struggling on the inside. Invite someone sitting alone to sit with you. Buy a meal for the person behind you in the drive-through. Compliment somebody. Write a note of encouragement. Offer to help. Offer to do. Offer yourself. Talk with someone who is lonely. Make the first move. Never leave a place or person the same. Let them be changed for having had an encounter with you.
I know it’s getting out of your comfort zone, but Jesus and the disciples got out of their comfort zones. The left behind jobs, hung out with the out crowd and made sure to make time for those wanting a touch from their Savior. You don’t have to change your whole life. Just change your perspective and attitude. Start small and it will change you all by itself. You’ll start seeing the world differently; I promise.
I am a pretty big Duck Dynasty fan. And one of their recent holiday episodes really touched my heart. They rallied together and choose to do something nice for someone else. In a season where so many people only think about sales and presents and to-do’s, the Robertson’s gave. They gave a new house to a dear friend who was in need. It wasn’t for show. It was one family loving on another family in the name of Christ. They were choosing to invest and think of others.
I want to share something I do. I believe that discouragement is an epidemic sweeping the world and that we have the power to change it. I try to do so through notes. My family will find them sometimes in random places: taped to the coffee pot, tucked in their wallet, on the steering wheel of the car. And every place I have worked, my co-workers have gotten some sort of note every few months to lift their spirits. It only takes a few minutes to bless the people in my life through the gift of encouragement. People often tell me that notes or texts I send out really brighten their day.
It’s as simple as that. Writing is my gift; use yours to make somebody’s day. I encourage you to make 2015 about others. Join the encouragement movement and find ways to invest. Like Jesus, let’s be a part of the out crowd that thinks and acts and loves radically different. You never know the difference you can make in somebody’s life. And remember to tell people when they've impacted you. Remember,"there is a world around you that needs you" (Chris Hodges).
Philippians 2:3 says, “Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself.”
OnlyHope-Encourage one another!

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