Encourage one another and build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV).
Unfortunately, in most workplaces, the message comes through loud and clear that people really don’t matter to the company or the cause. All that matters is their work. The only thing they’re valued for at that job is what they produce.
God calls us to communicate the exact opposite. He didn’t just create those people you work with—he died for them! That’s how much they matter. When we affirm the people we work with—even the ones we disagree with or don’t get along with or who just absolutely drive us crazy—we are telling them, “You matter to God, and you matter to me.”
Here are three ways to affirm others:
Listen to them. The Bible says, “Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2 NLT). One of the greatest gifts you can give people is an attentive ear. When you listen, you’re saying, “You matter. I value what you have to say. I value who you are.” Every time you genuinely listen to people at work, you’re ministering to them.
Use positive words. Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them” (NLT). God wants us, as believers, to be people builders, not people users. Most of the world is filled with people users. But when you speak positive words of encouragement to people and you build them up, you’re ministering.
Pray for them. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 1:11, “You are helping us by praying for us” (NLT). Make a prayer list of the people you work with. Put it in your Bible, pray regularly for them, and watch what happens in your office or on your job site. You cannot pray for people and not see them start to change! I encourage you to mention that you’re praying for them and ask how you can pray for them. Even unbelievers appreciate people praying for them. Every time you do that, you’re building a bridge through which you can minister to people.
WHEN YOU ARE PLAGUED by a persistent problem—one that goes on and on—view it as a rich opportunity. An ongoing problem is like a tutor who is always by your side. The learning possibilities are limited only by your willingness to be teachable. In faith, thank Me for your problem. Ask Me to open your eyes and your heart to all that I am accomplishing through this difficulty. Once you have become grateful for a problem, it loses its power to drag you down. On the contrary, your thankful attitude will lift you up into heavenly places with Me. From this perspective, your difficulty can be seen as a slight, temporary distress that is producing for you a transcendent Glory never to cease!
Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
ISAIAH 30 : 20 – 21
For our light, momentary affliction (this slight distress of the passing hour) is ever more and more abundantly preparing and producing and achieving for us an everlasting weight of glory [beyond all measure, excessively surpassing all comparisons and all calculations, a vast and transcendent glory and blessedness never to cease!].
2 CORINTHIANS 4 : 17 (AMP)
Don’t Stop Until You Meet Jesus
The wise men did not stop until they met Jesus. The Bible says they finally came to the place where Jesus was. Have you done that yet? Have you come to the point in your life where you’ve met Jesus personally?
If you haven’t, you are still on the journey. If you haven’t met him face-to-face yet, don’t stop seeking, keep on going.
A lot of people start off asking the important questions of life: “Who am I? Where am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going? Does my life have meaning? Is there a purpose? What is the significance of it all?’
These are important questions. But if you don’t keep seeking the answers, pretty soon you get distracted by other things, even important things, like your career or education. But when people do that, they have trouble getting back on the journey. Many people spend the rest of their lives missing the very purpose they were created for.
Like the wise men, don’t stop seeking until you meet Jesus. Where do you find Jesus? The same place the wise men did — in the ordinary. You find him in the problems of life, not in the spectacular. You find him in the stuff of life, in the stalls and the stables where it’s smelly and where life is being born.