“…if you lose your life because of Me you’ll find it.”
“…if you lose your life because of Me and the Message you’ll save it.”
As Christ followers, it seems we are called to LOSE. And by LOSE, I mean Listen, Observe, Serve, and Encourage.
Listen without thinking. To listen to someone without thinking, without forming your response before they’re finished, without judgement–this is difficult, yet magical. How deeply it honors someone to simply listen to them, for it communicates, “What you have to say is very important, and it’s important because you’re you.”
Observe lovingly. Then we observe someone, mostly through what we see (since touching, tasting, and smelling people can be a bit creepy), through a loving look with the intent to notice what they may be needing right now. Trying to see them as God sees them, lovingly, and even asking God to show us how He sees them and/or what He would like us to see.
Serve out of your observation. I love that the word serve is in the word observe. From the Latin observare, ‘to watch’, from ob-‘towards’+servare, ‘attend to, look at’. Chances are, if you take action serving after you’ve listened to someone without thinking, observed them lovingly, and asked God for insight, you’ll serve them very well and accurately according to their true needs. You don’t want to be the missionary who enthusiastically built a library in a village only to find out after putting the roof on that the literacy rate there was 1%!
Encourage with words. Again, if we listen first, we’ll be better at giving an encouraging word, because it will communicate to that person that we’ve been listening to them. In The Ripple Effect, we’ve always stressed the beautiful command of Hebrews 3:13 to encourage one another every day. Encourage someone today. Just do it. It’s amazing how uplifting an encouraging word can be to someone, and it’s ridiculously simple to perform.
So may we LOSE in life in order that others may find Life.
Going against the kingdom of this world, you might say we’re each called to be a LOSER, a Listening, Observing, Serving, Encouraging Rebel..!