“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
John 15:13 (NIV)
I’ve been talking for the past few weeks about the life group I’m co-teaching at my church, Caring for the Caregiver. Today I want to talk about the importance of truly knowing the person of whom you are blessed to serve. In the realm of caregiving, it’s important to study the preferences of the one you are caring for. Is he/she introverted or extroverted? Does he/she prefer to spend time alone or crave the company of others? Does he/she have a high pain tolerance or lower pain threshold? What are their favorite foods, sleeping positions, entertainment preferences? All of these answers help a caregiver better serve the needs of the one being helped.
The same principles apply to everyday life. When we are dealing with loved ones, friends or strangers on the street, it’s a great idea to pay attention. This type of observation will help build in us characteristic traits as people who truly care, but only when done with a genuine spirit.
It’s not that difficult to meet the needs of others – it just takes the power of observation, listening and asking questions. For me, I like to start each day asking God to use me in whatever way He wants. I ask Him to help me not miss opportunities where He wants to use me as a blessing to others and to slow down enough not to miss the important ways I can minister to others.
When approaching life this way, God will provide opportunities for us to bless others. He will help our schedules slow down enough to take the time to get to know others’ likes/dislikes so that our interactions with them are authentic. He will help us build true relationships with those around us because, essentially, God is all about relationships. It’s through mindful interactions that conversations flow in order to shine light on the most important relationship everyone can have – the one with our Heavenly Father. Ultimately, we’re not here on earth to build up treasures for ourselves. We’re here on earth to share about God’s plan with those who don’t know and to encourage other brothers and sisters in Christ to keep fighting the good fight who feel like giving up. That is best done through conversations between friends and part of being in friendships involves taking a genuine interest in those God has put inside our circle.
#Knowthosearoundyou #authenticrelationships #SpokenfromtheHeart
© Cheri Swalwell 2018