"If you don't enjoy the people you worship with, how are you going to make it in heaven?"
Well, what kind of silly question is that? Of course we enjoy the people we worship with! After all, we are all one big happy family, aren't we? We all love the Lord, don't we, and we are all here because we want to be, aren't we? As the survey often says, if you answered "No" to one or more of these questions, then please read on. But I say, if you answered "Yes" to all of these questions, are you sure? Would you like some time to rethink some of these? I think if we are truthful we can't say that the answer to all of these is always "Yes". I'll speak for myself. My answer to all of these is not always "Yes". So, these are the notes I made that I need to apply to my life.
Philippians 1:3-11 says: (Paul speaking) "I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God's grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and my be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ---to the glory and praise of God."
1. A Leader Enjoys Other People. Be grateful for the good in people. Focus on it, and then thank God when you remember it. Focusing on the bad things you see in someone taints your opinion of them, and sometimes that opinion is shaped around occurances that don't normally happen in that person's life. Look for the strengths in a person's life and focus on it. Quickly dismiss their weaknesses, and return to the strengths. Remember the best and forget the rest. Your memory of a person is a matter of your choice. Make them pleasant memories.
2. Practice Positive Praying. Thank God for people. Thank God for all the people in your life. Choose to allow your heart to overflow with love for them. God loves them right where they are, so why shouldn't we? Pray that they will do the right things in their life. Pray that in all they do God would receive glory. And then pray that they would receive God's glory and blessings in their life. Remember, people are powerless to your prayers.
3. Be Patient With Their Progress. Look at their potential. What are their posibilities if they were to turn all over to God? Then pray and trust God to finish the work that will allow them to grow in Him. Enjoy people where they are! You may not be around to witness the results you expect or want. Judge a person on how far they've come, not on how far they have to go.
4. Love People From Your Heart, Not With Your Mind. Ask them a question. Then, listen. Look at them through God's eyes. Listen to them as a father or mother listens to a child. Be filled with God's love, and allow it to overflow. Enjoy the moment you have with them.
Precious Father. Help me to love people as You have loved me, patiently and kindly, accepting me where I am, and loving me without reserve so that my deepest desire is to grow in You and be more like You. Thank you for Your Holy Spirit that nudges me and reminds me that I am Yours, and that You love me beyond measure. amen.