“Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2 NLT)
God says that as believers, we are to value everybody. When you look around at people — even people who are insulting you and putting you down — you must see them as God sees them, as people worth dying for. God sent his Son to die for them, and they do matter.
When you affirm people, you raise their value. When you appreciate people, you raise their value. How can you affirm people?
Listen to them. “Share each other's troubles and problems, and in this way obey the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2 NLT). One of the greatest gifts you can give people is an attentive ear. When you look someone straight in the eye and listen to him or her, it says, “I value you. I value what you have to say.”
Use positive words. The Bible says, “Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed, so that what you say will do good to those who hear you” (Ephesians 4:29 TEV).
God wants believers to be people-builders, not people-users. Most of the world is filled with people-users. God says when you speak positive words of encouragement — “Good job! Nice try! I appreciate what you did!” — you're ministering to people. When you see something good in their life, compliment it, and that area will grow.
Pray for them. 2 Corinthians 1:11 says, “You are helping us by praying for us” (NLT). Make a prayer list of the people you work with, put it in your Bible, pray for them, and watch what happens in your office or on your job site. You cannot pray for people and not see them start to change. I encourage you to tell them you're praying for them and even ask them, “What do you want me to pray about?” Every time you do that, you’re building a bridge on which you can minister to people.
Talk About It
Write down the name of a person whom you will encourage this week. Affirm him or her through positive words, by listening, or by praying for him or her.
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional ©2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.