Everyone is constantly changing, either for the better or for the worse. I like to think that I’m always getting better but I know that sometimes my choice to react to something in a certain way, or believe in a certain way about something, causes me to move in the wrong direction.
The deep desire
There is something however that never causes anything but a positive change within me, and that is when I feel validated by someone.
We are all born with a desire to feel loved and appreciated. God made us that way, He made Adam to have a desire to be connected with both God and with Eve. It’s for this reason that when someone notices something about us and lets us know that they appreciate it we feel like a million dollars.
Actions vs. Motives
It has been said that we typically judge others by their actions but judge ourselves by our motives.
You see most people don’t want to do something bad (at least not until their hearts have been hardened into that pattern), people typically no matter how poorly executed are trying to do things with a good motive. It’s how just how we as humans are built.
We are so quick to judge people by their actions but I’d love to see the church rise up and start judging people by who Christ has declared them to be.
But they are sinning!
Listen to what Paul said when talking about this to the Corinthians:
“From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;” 2 Cor 5:16-18
We need to understand that Christ no longer considers people by their fleshy actions. Rather He considers them as new perfect creations. We must do the same.
For example, when you look at a Christian who is struggling with a lifestyle of anger and rage towards his family, you don’t condemn him for that lifestyle and his actions. Instead, you champion him in who Christ has made him to be. We encourage him in this – “You my brother are a man called to be a safe place for your family. You have the Prince of peace dwelling in you. It’s easy for you to keep your calm and operate in joy and love.”
This is the power of grace in people’s life which brings forth the fruit of their righteousness. I can’t begin to tell you the amounts of people I’ve seen set free as I’ve handled their sin like this. Let’s face the music… if God isn’t going to convict them of their sins (see here), then we certainly shouldn’t be either!
A great illustration
This video is an amazing video which captures so much of what I’m talking about, I watch it every now and then to remind myself of the power of my words in people’s life.
One of my mentors Steve Backlund is the most encouraging person on planet Earth today. When I asked him how he did this he simply replied to me “Well Phil, when I enter a room I try to see who is the most encouraging person. Then I try to out do them.”
A couple of questions
1. What are some tools you use to stay positive about others and always encourage those around you?
2. Have you seen any great testimonies from speaking life into people recently?