What if we told people who they are? Not that we commanded: “Be this” or “Do that.” But what if we honestly told people the talents we see within them, the character qualities we appreciate, the stuff they’re just good at?
This weekend, as author Bob Goff spoke to a church crowd in Las Vegas, Nevada, I couldn’t get his question out of my mind.
“What if we’re the ones who say: ‘This is what I see in you’?” he challenged the crowd and the online audience.
How Bob Goff Became Available
In his short talk on Saturday, Bob Goff told of personal experience that led him to this realization. “I was getting less and less available,” he confessed.
In response, he did something drastic. He gave people his phone number. Not just friends. Anyone.
Bob Goff wouldn’t screen calls. He’d just answer, talk for a bit, and encourage the person. If he was spending time with someone in person, then he’d answer his phone and simple ask if he could call the person back. Then he actually would.
It’s such a simple concept. But I find it’s difficult to do.
A Time to Rest, A Time to Invest—in Others
For me, it’s definitely been a busy season. This spring, I finally scored my dream job. But soon I found I had little time for anything else. I’d arrive home from work mentally spent. My creativity for writing—emails to friends, blog posts, or even text message replies—lacked. I became tired. Then I just wanted to retreat.
Time to rest is good. Time to process and to recharge is vital to our health as people. But at what point did we decide to put up the barriers? To screen calls? To only meet a friend when it was scheduled far in advance and fit in “my schedule”?
Bob Goff said: Jesus, “He had more time for everybody.”
Yes, Jesus rested—he slept on boats, and he went away to mountains to pray. But he also aimed to be there for people. On His way to raise a girl from the dead, He stopped to heal a bleeding woman in the crowd. On His journey to Bethsaida, He paused to feed 5,000 people. Jesus knew His mission.
Pans and Pickpockets Challenge: Encourage People
If I want to be a good friend, then I need to take a lesson from Jesus. I want to begin to be intentional about caring for people. It’s as easy as showing people you love them. Since I’m a person who values words, one of the ways I can do that is just to tell them.
“What if we’re the ones who say: ‘This is what I see in you’?” Bob Goff said.
Let’s start telling people what we see in them. I want to live to encourage others in their journeys. All I need to do is be available.
PANS AND PICKPOCKETS CHALLENGE: How do you like to encourage others? Leave a comment. I’d love to talk with you here.
Words by: Ally Siwajian © 2013
Photo by: Ally Siwajian, featuring a live stream from Canyon Ridge Christian Church