Who Before What
If you only do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? – Luke 6:33
What have you done for me lately? If you haven’t heard it, chances are, you’ve felt it. Our culture encourages competition, demands quick results and praises efficiency. And in a performance based culture, we can easily begin to focus on what a person can do for us before simply valuing them for who they are.
The radical nature of Jesus’ life and ministry was consistently displayed in the way he valued people who could do little to help him advance his cause. He regularly welcomed and poured out compassion on those regarded as nobodies from nowhere. And in turn, he often opposed and offended people whose approval could have elevated his platform.
Think about how you assign value to the people around you. Do you assign value based on what a person can do for you? Do you assign greater value to those who don’t irritate you, who think like you, are good to you, can give you perceived advantage, or behave in a way you approve of?
God has you exactly where you are, surrounded by the people he intends, for your mutual benefit. But we can easily miss the valuable people right in front of us if we’re only focused on what we can get from the exchange. The people in your life are God’s valuable gift to you – who they are, not what they bring to the table.
This week, make it a rhythm of your life to value people for who they are before considering what they can do for you.
In casual encounters, slow down and remember you’re interacting with a person, not a machine.
In business transactions, appreciate the person before the product.
In hurtful attacks, promote the person in your heart and acknowledge their worth before contending with their actions.
In friendly exchanges, celebrate the fact that each person is a gift in your life.