Do you really care about people? You remember when Jesus said something about loving others (and then Paul, Peter, James, John, and others picked up on that theme in their writings)? Well, it seems kinda obvious, but you can’t love others if you don’t care about them.
A few days ago, Randy at “Bible Study Geek” (his subtitle ‘Nerd Groks Word’ always makes me smile) published a post called “People.” Although his post is about relationship problems, it really comes down to caring about people.
He wrote (in part):
You get close enough to someone and eventually you will disappoint him and he will disappoint you. The disappointment can be handled in several ways, but it will always be there and it will never go away. It will affect your relationship.
I have disappointed my wife so often that I’m embarrassed to still be alive. She–a woman of great grace–has forgiven me and she loves me with a hunka burning love. But in certain situations, she doesn’t quite trust me because I have proven that I am not totally trustworthy. Even if my record is good for the last several years, there is a certain level of distrust remaining. That’s my fault, not hers.
That’s just one example.
I have a long string of victims in my wake. Like a Palm Sunday tornado, I’ve left strong trees toppled along my path of destruction. I wish I could stand those trees back up, but I don’t know how.
Like Randy, we all have “left strong treest toppled along [our] path of destruction.” It’s true… all of us. And, of course, we’ve all been hurt as well. For some, the hurt goes deeper than others, but everyone has been hurt by someone else.
And, like I said, the hurt often (if not always) begins because we really don’t care about other people – or, at least, we care about them less than we care about ourselves.
Around the same time that I was thinking about this, a friend of mine left the following on Facebook:
About two weeks ago I determined to do the following: Be more present, interested, and attentive to others – and – to look at people as having a sign hung around their neck that says: Please listen to me and value me. I am already seeing this bear fruit in my life and believe me it does not just benefit the people with whom I interact with—it has benefitted me more than you can imagine. Can you think of the benefits that would come from interacting in such a way with people you come in contact with? How does it benefit others… how would it benefit you?
Do you see what he’s doing? He’s reminding himself that others are important. If we remember that other people are important, then we’ll begin to care about them.
Do you listen to people? Do you value them? How do you show it?
I think these are good questions to ask ourselves. But, for now, I’ll close with the questions that my friend asked on Facebook:
If you started looking at people as having a sign around their neck that says, “Please listen to me and value me,” what benefits would come from interacting with people in that way? How would it benefit other people? How would it benefit you?