I am a bit narcissistic. I think we all are, the difference is I know I am, and I know why I am. Throughout most of my life I have felt like a big disappointment, like I have always been letting someone down. Maybe it's because I have always been selfish, or maybe it's because I didn't know what I needed to do to make someone happy. It's not that I am a people pleaser, it's more along the lines of I need to make a difference in the lives of those around me.
I don't think I am alone in this. I think all people have an innate need to be a positive influence in the lives of those we love the most. We all want to be remembered for being good people, and for making others feel loved. I can't say, I have ever met a person whose goal was to make others feel lousy, though I am sure I have in my need to make myself feel like a better person. (this would be my ego getting out of control and reflecting what a fool I can be.)
So how can we be sure that we are making a difference in the lives of those we love most? How can we be sure to be a positive reflection of God's love within us? It's really not that hard.
Have you ever taken time to tell the people you love why you love them? Riddle me this. How often do you wake up or come home and feel like an utter failure as a person? Like all you have done is brought others down? I feel like that all the time and honestly this feeling is completely curable.
Tell someone you love them, and tell them why.
This is biblical. God advises us to take our talents and use them to bring them closer to Him, but do you know what your talents are? For some people it's obvious. I have friends with great pipes that can draw person to the Lord through worship. I have other friends who can preach. I have other friends who can write. These are talents that are pretty visible. But what about those, that are often celebrated or put to use in church? Things like our character. Things like our words, or how we act, or parent, or the way speak to others, or make contact? These things aren't always reflected or used in the church actively, or showcased. And sometimes we don't even know that we have those talents.
It's our job as Christians to point out those talents and tell people that those skills bless us, and that who they are makes a difference and it's the easiest way to love people known to man. It doesn't require any grant talent, money, or skill. Just the time to take write a quick note, a text, or a phone call and tell someone why who they are makes a difference.
I have a friend who is an incredible father. It really blesses me to hear him talk about his kids. He doesn't say I love them in his sentence, but the glow he gets when he discusses them that says it. I love hearing this conversation. He's man of God and he understands the gift our children are. He showcases his love and responsibility towards his kids by making them a priority in his life. Whether it be by reserving an hour of his time each day to spend with them to making sure he is present at events his kids request his presence. As a person who grew up without a father, this touches my heart in so many ways and actually helps heal some of the loss I deal with that hurts to this day. Knowing and seeing someone visually and verbally invest in his kids helps me see how God has designed each of us to love our fa milies and to place priority on them in our lives and by being able to share how this man's actions blesses me, encourages him to continue to pour to into his children and shows him where God has given him a great talent.
I have another friend who has an incredible gift of kindness. Whenever I am around her, she treats people with an incredible amount of love and respect. There are people in our lives that I know who have done incredibly crappy things, but she still loves them and forgives them. Her ability to extend grace beyond my understanding Christ like and allows me to see how God forgives me many errors in my personality and actions despite how often I screw up and fall on my face. There are times when I want to pass judgment on others and write them off, but this person shows me through her words and actions that we must forgive others for their transgressions and look deeper for what causes those mistakes - because we are human, and need others to forgive us when we fall.
It takes ten seconds to tell someone why you love them and the difference they make in your life, and encourage you do it and do it often. Help the ones you love the most grow and maintain their talents. You will be making a difference in their life and helping them continue to make a difference in others. We all need to know that who we are makes a difference - and the first step in this is love thy neighbor first.
Blessings to all of you!