It’s human nature to form quick opinions based on the things we see and hear, without taking the time to dig deeper. “Do you look at things according to the outward appearance?”1 the apostle Paul cautioned the Christians in Corinth 2,000 years ago.
Jesus also had advice on the topic: “Stop judging by mere appearances,”2 He pleaded. But if we’re honest, most of us would probably admit to doing just that, at least some of the time. Here’s a passage that got me thinking about how I see others:
I have a neighbor who is a very good handyman. A while ago, he did some work for us in the house but seemed to be very grouchy and out of sorts. When I tried to help or give a suggestion, he got frustrated and snapped back.
I absolutely love avocado! Along with being delightfully delicious, it is a versatile fruit. Not to mention that it’s outstandingly healthy—one of the best sources of natural oils and many vitamins.
Be a people-builder by supporting others. These tips can help.
1. Build up excellence: Think of at least one thing that you find outstanding in someone, and then let them know how excellent they are in that specific way.
Appreciation is a human need. It’s not just something that’s nice to have when possible, but something that each person needs in order to be happy and to thrive. That’s true in every setting, but it’s perhaps nowhere more evident than in the workplace. When people feel genuinely appreciated by those they work for and with, they’re much more likely to be excellent contributors and “team players.”
Question: I’d like to do more to improve things around me, but I don’t feel there’s a lot I can do. Changing the world seems like such a huge task—how to know where to start?
Answer: The good news is you don’t need to be someone powerful or famous to make a difference. Each positive change—no matter how small—is changing the world for the better. We can change the world by improving the lives of those around us, through deeds of kindness and consideration, and by showing faith in them. Here are some practical tips to help get you started changing your part of the world, one heart at a time.
On a flight I took some months ago, there was a little girl sitting in the catty-cornered seat from me. She had a beautiful new coloring book that her mother had obviously brought especially for the flight. Occupying the same row was another girl about the same age whose father was seated behind her. This girl had no coloring book, and in fact, didn’t seem to have anything to occupy her.
The girl with the coloring book was soon busily coloring with her crayons spread out on the tray table, and the other girl was looking longingly at them. I felt bad for the girl who had none, so I prayed that the first child would feel moved to tear out a page from her nice coloring book and share it. Sure enough, after a while I saw that she had indeed torn a page out and had given it to her seatmate and was sharing her crayons with her.
During the spring of my junior year in high school, some girls suggested we practice for the junior-senior basketball game, and I thought it might be fun, so I tagged along. I did poorly in practice, more focused on my friends than on the game; but despite getting on the nerves of some of the more competitive players, I decided that I would go through with what was going to be my one and only basketball game.
Throughout the match, the seniors consistently held the lead, while my teammates were struggling. I had passed the ball a couple of times like a hot potato, happy to get it out of my hands as quickly as possible. Until…
If you’re looking for ways to make those you love feel special and appreciated, here are a few ideas to get you started.
1. Put it into words. Those three little words—“I love you”—are still the best way to make sure those you love know it. Say them often.
When someone asked Jesus what was God’s greatest commandment, He replied, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”1 As far as God is concerned, love is the supreme virtue. Love is the most important thing. God doesn’t ask us to be perfect; He doesn’t ask us to be free from mistakes; He doesn’t ask us to do great things that the world will hear of. He just asks us to love others.