Being ‘for’ others
The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.
Proverbs 20:5 (ESV)
There were six of us sitting around a table, outside on top of a hillside, having lunch, the warm San Diego breeze blowing the smell of oranges up from the orange grove; the wind chimes clicked in time with the breeze. This place was a long way away from my Scottish home that was enduring December’s battering winds and snowstorms.
I was there to share how to successfully build businesses. There was a mix of individuals, some already extremely successful in ‘high net worth’ terms, and some of us who wanted to replicate that success. We humans sometimes have a tendency to measure success in ‘tangibles’ such as money, trusting in things we can see, touch and measure. But my peers’ stories, in this group of people, told me that this is not where success lies. The stories being shared focused on tangible outcomes which had led to the breakdown of relationships, and cases of financial ruin. These highly successful ‘net worth’ individuals also learnt about peace and true success from their stories.
In Matthew 13 Jesus talks about tangible outcomes, good and bad. In the good outcome, the seeds that fell on good ground did not just yield a good crop, it was up to a hundredfold (v.8). We can be a part of that ‘hundredfold’ by hearing and accepting what we receive from Him (v.16).
The stories that my peer group told highlighted a shared desire to make a difference in the world. For them the turning point from failure to success was to refocus on what they were really good at – their God-given talents and skills. It is striking to realise that not many people are knowingly attuned to where their natural talents and skills lie. Coaches, supportive friends and family can sometimes see more clearly where your skills may lie. My peer group focused on areas where their skills lay, and went on to create teams of individuals in roles that played to their strengths, too.
What would happen in your family, church, or workplace if people could play to their strengths instead of just doing what was viewed as needed? You may have a purpose in ‘deep water’ that perhaps could be explored further?
Dear Father, help us to see past what we think we need and to focus on being ‘for’ one another. May the Holy Spirit give us eyes to see what is good in others’ hearts and words, to inspire and express encouragement, in Jesus’ name. Amen
Study by Rachel Montgomery
About the writer:
Rachel Montgomery is the Communications Coordinator for Grace Communion International, UK & Ireland. She is also Deaconess in the Edinburgh congregation.
Gilmerton New Church
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