Affirmation: I shall not “parade” myself and I shall not be “puffed up” (I Corinthians 13:4)
As I read today’s affirmation from “the Love Chapter” (I Corinthians 13) my mind went back to those many sad days that I would sit with my father-in-law in the Alzheimer’s ward of the Richard M. Campbell Veteran’s home in Anderson, S.C.
As I sat there I would be surrounded by grown men who had no awareness of themselves. Once these were self-aware men who welded great power, carried important responsibilities, and were contributing members of society. Now, mumbling and
shuffling along, they were lost in the maze of an Alzheimer’s world that had completely robbed them of any self-awareness. They had no problem whatsoever with the temptation to become puffed up or to be proud. But that is hardly what Paul was thinking of when he penned these words those many years ago.
How do you becoming a loving person by not parading yourself and becoming puffed up? I think the answer lies in some great advice I once received from a wise old pastor. He said, in answer to my question on how to succeed in the ministry, “Just love God and love his people.” Great advice!
Let me give you a question that has really helped me with the “love his people” part of the equation. When preparing a sermon or a presentation or for a meeting (or just in my everyday interaction with people) I ask myself the following question, “How do I want them to feel when I finish?”
This question came from a quotation that forever changed my life. It went like this: “People will forget what you say, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”
If we love people, then our job is not to impress them with how important we are. We are not to be a shock jock or cute or even clever. If we love them we will want to help them, and one of the best ways of helping them is to give them “soul food”
- Make them feel hope
- Make them feel like they matter
- Make them feel like they have a chance
- Make them feel that they (not you) are important
As someone once wrote, “A sure sign that someone is really important is that they make others feel important when they are around them.”
The question, “How do I want them to feel?” Has changed my life; I believe it will do the same for you. Why not start today. Enough with worrying about self! Repeat with me – I shall not “parade” myself and I shall not be “puffed up” (I Corinthians 13:4) and I shall do so by focusing on how I make others feel about themselves not me.
Blessings and kindest regards,