Have you been watching all of the commercials that are popular this time of year trying to get you to invest in something with all of them promising amazing results? Your weight loss, your health, your muscular body, your financial portfolio, training for your dream career etc. etc. While an investment in these things can be good and beneficial, I'd like to propose another investment that I'm pretty sure will yield greater dividends than all of the above items combined....Investing in People!
Maybe this is the year you make a financial and time investment to go on a missions trip.
Or perhaps you make a time investment to talk to that neighbor who seems a little lonely.
Or you finally look into that local ministry that's always intrigued you and begin the investment of volunteering with them on a regular basis.
Or you decide to invest in truly getting to know what makes that family member (who tends to get on your nerves) tick and then bless them with your unconditional love.
Or maybe you just make the investment of being nicer to every. single. stranger you come into contact with this year.
Whatever the investment, it will NOT come back as a negative balance even if you don't get to actually see or hear about the positive results.
Oh sure, people are complicated and at times our investments seem to be yielding no positive returns. But that's when we have to make the hardest decision in this whole "investing in people" thing...the decision to NOT go into it thinking how it will profit us...but only how it will eventually profit them. Jesus did this while He was walking on earth and not only did He rarely get to see the "fruit" of his investment while here, he was more times than not, misunderstood, ridiculed, and mistreated.
My Dad understood this premise and although he was at times frustrated and worn out from his various investments in people, he tried to keep the good of the other person at the forefront. As my family and I approach another one of my Dad's birthdays without him here on earth, I can think of no better way to celebrate his life than to leave you with a letter from one of the people he invested in. Honestly, I'm not even sure my Dad knew how this gentleman felt about him and the time my Dad spent with him, but I wanted to share how it REALLY DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE to invest in people:
Dear Family of Glenn Paul,
I feel compelled
to write this letter to you in your time of grief to let you know I also feel
your loss.The man Glenn Paul was
paramount in my spiritual growth and in my life.I’m an inmate in prison and Glenn was my mentor.Through all my trials and tribulations he
would be there for me as a friend or a father would do.I would discuss my family to him and he would
beam about his wife and four daughters he loved so much.I believe he just came from a gathering at
one of you girls’ house a few months prior.Why I am reminiscing on these minor details I don’t know.Maybe it’s because I valued every moment I
had with him so much.And he truly
touched my life even if it was for only 1 day out of the week.But oh how much I looked forward to seeing
him that day.How he would challenge me
spiritually.He was a blessing for me
from God and helped fulfill my spiritual appetite.He helped me learn how to break down the Word
better.He helped me in so many
ways.He’s the primary reason people see
a change in me today.My eyes are
becoming teary as I think about my good friend Glenn.I’m so sad he’s gone.There was so much more I could have learned
from him as I told the chaplain.He also
said to me about the lives Glenn affected up here at the prison.It was truly amazing how spiritually gifted
he was.Also how loving.I work on a work release which me and him
prayed about together and God granted me a job.And like a father checking on his son he came to see me at work and
check to see how I was doing.Unfortunately, I had off that day, but they told me they gave him a
glowing report.The sad part is that
would have been the last time for me to see him.Though I
wish I could see him just one last time just to tell him thanks and that I love
him.He was a truly great God fearing
man.And I truly do feel your loss and
send my condolences.
So, certainly invest in those areas that will help you live 2014 with better health and balance so that you can ultimately make the life-changing investment in someone else.
"To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways: we do not know what a day may bring forth. This is generally said with a sigh of sadness. It should rather be an expression of breathless expectation."- Oswald Chambers
I am a Northern Gal transplanted in the South for over 20 years now. I have a wonderful husband who is the best partner God could have given me. I have 4 terrific kiddos--3 born from my womb and one born in my heart through adoption. Join me as I chronicle our lives as newly adoptive parents and as we navigate our new normal of having 2 daughters with Down syndrome.