Life’s journey would be impossible without the people that God sends into our lives. As I look back at almost 17 years in full-time ministry and 31 years as a Christian, I’m who I am today because of all the people whom God placed in my life. By this, I mean ALL – including those I’d rather not have around me. To make sense of all the jumble of thoughts running through my head, let me boil it down to a few pointers.
1. Don’t overestimate yourself
A few weeks ago, I felt the Lord show me clearly that the grace over my life is there because of my connection to Pastor Yang and various other people God had placed around me.
It’d be a fallacy to think that I can continue to do what I do and experience the same level of grace, anointing and favour if I were to disconnect myself from these people. The problem is that when people start experiencing success in their lives, they begin to attribute it to themselves. Their opinion of themselves and their own abilities start skyrocketing and soon hubris seeps in.
What’s more, they start thinking that they’ll experience the same level of success anywhere they go, because the source of their success is in themselves. This is far from the truth. In fact, much of the success we experience in our lives has more to do with the people around us than ourselves.
God’s favour and grace is always poured out on us when we’re pursuing His agenda and not our own. When we’re rightly aligned with the people that He’s put together to accomplish His plans, we’re blessed. Is it any wonder also why the enemy always seeks to sow discord in order to separate people whom God places together? Perhaps it’s time for us to note those whom God has placed around us and to start properly appreciating them.
2. Don’t underestimate yourself
Just as we’re not to overestimate ourselves, we must not do the opposite of underestimating ourselves either. There are some people whom God gives as a key to unlock opportunities and doors for us. At the same time, God places us as keys for others to unlock His plans for their lives. The sobering thought is that we’ll need to give an account for all the people whom God brought through our lives as to whether we did for them what He intended for us to do.
Our words and actions are powerful and they can nurture people in ways that we cannot imagine. Often times, just by taking an interest in others, we place such value in them that it can really help them grow and breakthrough. The key is to determine that we’d be a “plus” in people’s lives instead of being a “minus”. Adam was given the task of cultivating and protecting the Garden of Eden. This is a task and ability that God has given to each of us. It’s the gift of having “green fingers” with regard to people. It requires for us to be conscious of others and to learn how to help them, but nonetheless, it’s something we all can and must do.
3. Don’t alienate yourself
We just celebrated my wife’s birthday this week and as we took time to appreciate her as part of the family, I had the privilege to restore something to her that she had given up years ago in order to support my pursuit of full-time ministry. It was a special moment for me because I realise that I’d not be in full-time today without her constant support. Many times, she had to stir me out of my discouragements and push me to press onwards in God’s call upon my life.
There are people like that whom God has placed in our lives as well. They give us strength. They lift us up when we’re down. They press us to look higher and not be mired in the problems of the day.
As a diver, we’re always taught that we never dive alone. We always have a buddy with us because it’s essential for safety reasons. In life, it’s the same. We’ll all need help sometime and we must ensure that we’re not journeying alone. We must make sure our relationships are not superficial. There’s nothing like the voice of another person to affirm, esteem, and tell us that we’re appreciated.
May we take time over this festive period to appreciate those whom God has blessed us with. Blessed Lunar New Year!