Popularity is an interesting topic. We generally want people to like us & think we’re cool. We like to fit in & feel comfortable around the people with whom we interact – I think this is all pretty natural. Where we get into trouble with the popularity pursuit is when the popularity w people undercuts our popularity w God. It’s nice when our people & God popularity complement each other, but when when we have to make a choice between being popular w people or being popular w God, make the decision now to chose God.
In the long run, choosing God will always sort out with better results than trying to be popular w people 🙂
I was having coffee w a friend the other day & this lady walked into the coffee shop w some very loud shoes – her shoes were the 1st thing to catch anyone’s attention. Right away my friend commended to this lady on her super cool shoes, encouraging her that she looked cool wearing those shoes. I was really proud of my friend for being so encouraging & made a mental note to myself that I want to be that way, even if something isn’t my personal style or preference.
Here’s my line of thinking: our planet needs some encouragement because it seems to me that we are living in a time when there’s a fair amount of negativity. With this in mind, a great way to counter-act any general negativity is to be encouraging to people & even creatively encouraging. So here are just a few ideas you might consider & please feel free to leave more suggestions so we can all help each other 🙂
- consider telling a co-worker that you think they’re an incredible person, without the intent of trying to get something from them ,)
- wave & smile at your neighbor when you drive by them
- look at the cashier & ask them if they’re having a nice day, with sincere interest
- send a kind email to someone & thank them for who they are as a person (consider telling them what characteristic you like the most about them)
- tell your mate that you think they’re great
- let a friend, neighbor or co-worker know that you appreciate them with a quick text message
- drop a note in the mail (snail mail) to let someone know that they are special to you
Those are just a few ideas, but the principle of being encouraging is super powerful, even though it may seem rather small 🙂
What are some more ideas that you would suggest?
I’m a big fan of being proficient with forgiveness – after all, we get to practice almost everyday! ,)
There are LOADS of benefits that go with maintaining a lifestyle of forgiveness, but the point for this blog is to refresh a few tips & to give you an opportunity to share some effective tips you’ve learned as well. So here’s a quickie sarah forgiveness primer:
- be ready to forgive more than you’re ready to take an offense – sometimes it helps to have a forgiveness mindset
- fast forgiving is easier than elongated forgiving: anytime I’ve nursed a hurt, the forgiving process gets quagmired & almost moribund before I know it :/
- some people require more forgiveness than others; some of us are proned to the foot-in-mouth syndrome so please don’t make us squirm as we try to get better
- forgiveness is about personal liberty: for those of us who are Americans, its hard for me to understand why we are so adamant about our external freedom, but we can be virtually oblivious to our internal incarceration
- I want to be super generous with forgiveness because Lord knows He gives me more than I can comprehend; people who are stingy with forgiveness are usually mean & lonely 🙁
What are some more suggestions?
If you’re like me, you probably like people to varying degrees based on what’s happening in your life. But here are some reasons why I love people. I love people because:
- I see God’s creative genius that is never-ending. People are a great reflection of God’s vivid imagination 🙂
- I sense joys & pains in them that far exceed my own experiences
- I feel God’s love through people, at various times, that is nothing short of breathtaking
- I sense God loving people through me & this experience cuts me to the core – so humbling
- I see strength, courage, valor & sacrifice – such grace & nobility
- I see the same struggle in others that I experience with choices between shortcuts & long-term investments
- Many times God works on me, using people, to grow patience, grace, humor, discipline, gentleness and other things
- I’m continually amazed at people’s patience & grace toward me as I strive to grow & mature
We are all clay in God’s hand, for His sculpting & purposes, so let’s celebrate God’s touch of love in our lives individually & collectively 🙂
I just watched some of the footage of these horrific events & it seems almost surreal – surreal because I’m sitting in my house, comfy & drinking decaf, very far removed from this tragedy. But when I begin to think of the people who lived in the houses that were overrun by water, the people who drove the cars that are bobbing in the water like toys, the people who farmed the land & greenhouses that were swallowed by the mucky deluge . . . . I’m undone. Even more, I’m very disturbed by the loss of life today in this highly industrialized country, along with the mounting numbers of dead & injured & other potential disasters that could result from this earthquake.
What do I say to all of this as a person who deeply loves Jesus? The ultimate tragedy of these catastrophes are the number of people who have & will die, who are injured beyond medical help, the infants lost and families who are devastated. When we hear the numbers for the dead & injured, let’s be careful not to get numbed by the statistics but stay deeply touched by the realization that each number is a person of immeasurable worth, deeply loved and treasured by Jesus. Let us be certain & consistent in praying for the families who are left and let us be watchful for opportunities small & large to express the tangible love of Jesus to our kinship of humanity in Japan, but also in our immediate world as well. May the love of Jesus compel us – 2 Cor 5:14
Well, my time in Cambodia so far has been completely spectacular. In 24 hours, I’ve had the privilege of ministering 4 times & wouldn’t have it any other way. Last nite I fell into bed very spent & very whole. There’s just a whole lot to say for spendng yourself totally in loving Jesus by ministering to people. Yesterday, we had a lady rec’v healing in her ear – it had been painful for a yr & last week it started to bleed. Yesterday after prayer, the pain instantly left & she could hear normally for the 1st time in months. We saw lots of people give their hearts to Jesus & hundreds of beautiful Cambodians increase their love for Jesus. How could I not love the privilege of serving Jesus in this capacity?!? You should be as lucky as me, seriously.
Today & tomorrow, I’m equally excited to see the opportunities God will give us through saving Moses to help infants know the tangible love of God. I’ll keep you posted, hopefully w some pics about some of the cool stuff God will do w saving Moses. Thx heaps for praying!!
I’ve been thinking about love lately & its been an interesting journey in my brain. i’ve been thinking about the differences between God’s love & our love. Here are some thoughts i’m bouncing around:
- is it possible for human love to be pure??
- is God’s love the only pure love known to humanity?
- does my love become more pure the closer i am to God?
- i think that no one loves me more purely than God
I think its good to consider some of these things – particularly in light of Jesus’ instructions to love God & love people. 🙂
lots of love to you!
Ever been in a situation where things are really dicey? Have you been around people or in settings where the weather conversation was over & then there was the awkward silence because no one could think of things to discuss that weren’t volatile or hurtful? I’ve been in some situations where i knew that people were testing me with the topics they brought up to see if i’d “take the bait.” i hate these awkward times, situations & interactions.
Here’s a possible solution – a few weeks ago i was reading 1 Corinthians 2 & in verse 2 it says, “I determined to know nothing among you except Christ & Him crucified.” This verse has really helped me because if i’m around other believers w a tricky conversation, i decide in my brain that i’m not going to be part of any gossip or negative discussions, but rather that I’m going to steer the dialogue to talking about Jesus & what He’s doing. This strategy has really helped keep my priorities & conversations to be godly! In the event that you’re around non-Christians, i think you can still make this determination by steering conversations to constructive topics (a quote from Mother Teresa, something positive you heard on the news, something good you’ve heard about a company or a positive way of looking at life).
I understand that from time to time, you’ve got to make confrontations & address problems, situations, communication strategies, etc. Nevertheless, i still think that making the decision to aim at knowing Christ & making Him known through various conversations is always a safe way to keep from walking on broken glass!! 🙂
Can you say, “whew!” The election saga, with the help of Jesus, will be resolved today. While I’m not much of a “politico”, I am patriotic. We live in a fantastic country with tremendous blessings. On this day, let us celebrate our nation, the privilege to vote, the freedoms of speech and religion along with innumerable blessings. Let us also keep in mind God’s imperative to pray for the leaders of our nation. Regardless of who wins or loses on this day, I am an American today, tomorrow, next month . . . . I love our country & pray that your love for this nation exceeds any political celebrations or disappointments that may result from this day. Moreso, I pray that our love for God translates with great clarity into love for people.