This quote has really impacted me: “You will never look in the eyes of someone who God does not love.” Unfortunately, being human means we struggle with getting annoyed at others and not being able to love them fully. We don’t have to like everyone, but we should love everyone. People should also never know you do not like them! How can we work on fully loving others?
Listen. Look people in the eyes when you talk with them. Avoid thinking about how to respond to them while they are talking. Focus on every word they are saying and respond empathetically.
Ask questions. Get to know people on a deeper level. Try to remember little things they’ve told you from past conversations and ask about them at a later time.
Be intentional. Our lives are hectic, so it is easy to forget to reach out to our loved ones. Be intentional about letting people know you care. Send a short text to your friend wishing them a great day. Go on walks and call people you haven’t spoken with in awhile! Even if they can’t answer, knowing someone was thinking of them can make their day.
Don’t Judge. Everyone has a story and we only see a small part of someone’s whole life. For example, a child who is interrupting a lot in class and acting out shouldn’t be labeled a bad kid. He may not be getting much attention at home and is craving to be acknowledged. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Assume they have good intentions until proven wrong.
Set healthy boundaries. We need to care for ourselves so that we can be our best for the people around us. Saying no to helping sometimes is okay. Taking time to rest gives us the energy to help even more!
Offer what you need to others. If you need someone to listen to you, listen to someone else. If you need a friend, be a friend. Be the person you need when you are struggling.
Pray that you can see Christ in every person you encounter today. Pray for strangers who you talk with or just pass by on the street. God has given us the gift to make people feel loved and welcomed. Let’s use this gift.
Anna is a YES leader who just graduated from Kansas State University, is applying to Physician Assistant school, and is passionate about public health.