Monday, January 17, 2011

Life Seasonings - Principle 4 of 10

Principle 4: Make time for people 
(Leave them better than when you found them)

Consider these statements. “Where there are people, there are problems. Where there are no people, there are no problems. Wouldn’t the world be a better place without people? These statements are in the context of a training dealing with relationship problems. We recognize that the root of all problems in the world has to do with dealing rightly or wrongly with another human being. In other words, although we can’t live with people, we can’t live without them either. The fact remains that we are created by God to live in community and we crave for it. (Genesis 2:18 - "It is not good for the man to live alone.") These cravings reflect positively in love but negatively in an unhealthy pursuit of that acceptance from, and significance in, people. To put it succinctly in an adage: “We buy things we do not need, with money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t even like.” If there are no people to impress, there would not be any necessity to accumulate more and more. We can only eat so much, wear so much and play so much. Anything more than that is a deprivation of these resources to someone else in the world.
This is the oxymoron bit. People are extremely important to us but our lifestyles and priorities do not seem to point to that. We hurt the very people we loved, by accumulating wealth which we think are good for them, with the time that was meant for them. We backstab and step over people to do that and we created for ourselves a dog-eat-dog world.

When we live within the right context of community, we receive strength and contribute to its betterment. When we don’t, we take something away from it and leave the community a worse place than it was before. Therefore in that sense, there are really two kinds of people in this world. Those that give to it and those that takes away. Candidly, my question to each of us would be:  Do we leave people charged up, or discharged?

 “We were once people living in darkness. We have now seen a great light.” (Matthew 4:16) The Bible also says in Ephesians 5:8 “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.” Light conveys warmth and life. It gives energy. Darkness takes away. It is cold and silent. Those of us who have seen the light and are in the light, we are to be a source of encouragement and growth to those around us. When we are around other people, there’s more life in them after we leave. Do you have people in your life that when you run into them, your face naturally lights up? Conversely, are there people in your life that when you see them coming your way, there is a natural urge inside you that makes you take the opposite direction, unless you are cornered and are forced to greet them. What kind of person are you to others around you? Do people’s faces brighten up when they chance upon you? Do they look forward to see you? Or are you avoided at all cost? This is a sobering thought and something we would rather deny than to confront because it is uncomfortable.

As a people helper, I constantly feel discharged by the issues I help people with. The Lord recharges me daily but being a social creature, I need people to recharge me too. So the best thing I can do for myself is to learn to regularly go near people who can charge me up. These are the people that I look forward to seeing and they encouraged me and help me see the bright side of life. This is a human need, and it is biblical too, as the Apostle Paul exhorts us to do these to one another: encourage, honor, love, edify, honor, be devoted to, accept, care, forgive, greet, be kind, be compassionate, comfort, live in peace with, to be kind with, and the list goes on. These are the actions that charge others up.

How would you know which kind you are? I encourage (or dare!) you to ask someone who would be honest enough with you. Try your wife, husband, parents, children, cell members, cell leader, pastor, colleagues, friends and even your maids!

May I challenge you to be a people charger? Give energy, not take away! Make time for people and leave them better than when you found them.


  1. Hi Pastor Chris, thanks for sharing.

    "If there are no people to impress, there would not be any necessity to accumulate more and more. We can only eat so much, wear so much and play so much. Anything more than that is a deprivation of these resources to someone else in the world."

    It's also said that the accumulation of wealth does not necessarily translate to the ownership of wealth. Without peace, free time and health, we can't spend the money that we earn, live comfortably in the houses we built, or even eat the food that's set in front of us.

    It is really pointless to work hard in our careers, sacrifice our time and health if the goal is to earn a lot of money and spend it in the future. Who knows whether those days will come. And none of that will matter in a thousand year's time too!

  2. As the saying goes:
    We buy things we don't need, with the money we don't have, to impress people we don't even like!