The bible tells us that as Jesus grew, He “increased…in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52). Do you ever wonder how to increase in favor and therefore increase your godly influence on those around you? Try these three ways to improve your relationships with people.
Mind your mind — It’s unavoidable. Your actions will reveal your attitude toward people. That’s the message of yet another proverb: “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). Thoughts that are critical, negative, harmful, and jealous not only go against God’s Word (Philippians 4:8), but they spawn actions that are critical, negative, harmful, and jealous. So train yourself to think loving, positive, generous thoughts when it comes to other people.
Mind your mouth — Our relationships with people are enhanced when we follow in the steps of the Proverbs 31 woman who “opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness” (Proverbs 31:26). If her thoughts weren’t wise or kind, her mouth was shut!
Mind your manners — The number one way to be pleasing to God and approved by man is to be the servant of all. Our servant assignment from God is to give honor and preference to one another (Romans 12:10). Regarding others as more important than yourself gives you the mind and manner of Christ (Philippians 2:4-5).
You and I are to focus away from self and outward to others. We are to become other-oriented. To do this, as mundane as it sounds, we have to train ourselves to, for instance, stop talking about ourselves (and our children or our grandchildren) and instead ask about the other person. We may also have to learn some good manners because love has good manners (1 Corinthians 13:5).
I love what Anne Ortlund says. First she writes, “There are two kinds of personalities in this world, and you are one of the two. People can tell which, as soon as you walk into a room: your attitude says either ‘Here I am’ or ‘There you are.'” Then she illustrates the latter by describing “a Hawaiian woman who strings a number of leis early each Sunday morning, not for anyone in particular. Then she comes to church praying, ‘Lord, who needs my leis today? A newcomer? Someone discouraged? Lead me to the right people.'”
God calls you to love Him, first and foremost, with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind (Luke 10:27) and to allow that rich love you enjoy in Him to overflow into your family, into your neighbors, into the lives of others. How can you be a “there you are” person, looking around for how you can encourage someone with God’s love? He can make it happen as you let Him grow you into a woman after His heart.
Question: Is there a “there you are” person in your life that you can honor today by sharing a story of their service to others?
For more encouragement read, A Woman After God’s Own Heart.