Have you ever received a positive comment from your boss that changed your day—or even your week? That unexpected “Thanks for doing a great job,” or “I really appreciate all you do” remark can literally impact your confidence and how you feel about your company.
Words—spoken honestly and with the intent to build someone up—have positive, far-reaching consequences.
Remember the Apostle Peter? The outspoken, brash yet eager disciple who always seemed ready to speak, ready to act … even if his actions were ill-timed or uninformed?
From the outset of his relationship with Jesus, we see someone eager to prove himself or take a stand or demonstrate his commitment to his newfound faith. But he often did so without fully considering how his actions and words would be received.
Peter needed a mentor. He needed someone who would invest time with him … someone who had patience, understanding and a compassionate view of reality.
Fortunately, he had Jesus. We read of numerous occasions where Jesus would guide or inform Peter of a better way. And through the entirety of their relationship, we see Peter slowly coming to understand who Jesus was and what His presence meant.
There were starts and stops and positive moves and steps back. But through Jesus’ death and resurrection and finally the establishment of the Church, we see Peter being changed by the words and actions of Jesus.
“Invest” is typically used when we talk finances. However, when we use the word in a more personal context, “invest” looks a lot different … yet its impact is far more pervasive and long-lasting.
Investing in someone through your time and energy can literally change that person’s life.
Do you want to impact someone’s life in simple yet profound ways? Here are a few examples to get you started.
1. At work, offer a co-worker, supervisor or one of your direct reports encouraging words about her or his character or some action that deserves recognition. Think through your words so this isn’t just a meaningless way to check something off your to-do list. Practice intentionality and ensure your words are thoughtful, meaningful, rich and forward-looking.
Then, write on your calendar a reminder to do this again for someone else tomorrow, next week or two weeks from now. Make it a regular practice to offer these legacy-living words to someone on a consistent basis. You will not only enrich someone else’s life, but you will also enrich yours.
2. Remember that barista … the one you see every day when you get your skim, half-caf latte on your way to work? Take an extra minute tomorrow and tell her how much you appreciate her and how well she does the job. Maybe even give her a $10 gift card to a popular store in your area.
3. How about Jim? He’s the usher at church who has been there for what seems like 79 years. Every Sunday, rain or shine, snow or heat, he is there with a smile to greet newcomers and regulars.
He certainly doesn’t do it for the pay, so why not thank him with thoughtful words. Tell him how he is doing God’s work and how much you would miss him if he were not there.
4. How about your mechanic? The person who changes your oil, makes sure your tires are aligned and fixes those rattles that get on your nerves. Take a minute at your next appointment and offer thanks and appreciation for all this person does to make your drive safe.
These are just a few random ideas. If you think for even 90 seconds, you can undoubtedly come up with more. The idea is to impact someone’s life in a positive manner by a kind word or gesture.
We are certainly not Jesus, but we do have the power to influence others’ lives in ways that highlight and demonstrate the gospel. And who knows how that small gesture on your part can change someone’s life!
Are you ready to impact someone’s life today?
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