I have discovered that most people we
meet or come into contact with in our everyday lives don’t have a sense
of their infinite value as children of God. I think the devil works
very hard to make people feel devalued and worthless, but we can
neutralize the effect of his lies and insinuations by building up,
encouraging and edifying people.
One way to do this is with a sincere compliment, which is one of the most valuable gifts in this world. Offering a sincere compliment may seem like a small thing, but it gives tremendous strength.
I believe in having goals, and as I was working with God to develop good habits in the area of encouraging others, I challenged myself to compliment at least three people each day. I recommend that you do something similar to help you become an aggressive encourager.
God speaks frequently in the Bible of our responsibility to the oppressed, widows, orphans, fatherless and foreigners. He mentions those who are lonely, neglected, forgotten and devalued.
He cares deeply for the oppressed and the hungry. People can be hungry in many ways. They may have plenty of food to eat but be starving to feel valuable.
God lifts up those who are bowed down with sorrow; He protects the stranger and upholds the fatherless and the widow (see Ps. 146:7-9). How does He do this? He works through people. He needs committed, submitted, dedicated people who live to make others feel valuable.
Mother Teresa dedicated her life to making the outcasts feel loved and valuable. The things she did were simple, yet great. She said: “Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired.”
A verse that has encouraged me is Psalm 27:10: “Although my father and my mother have forsaken me, yet the Lord will take me up [adopt me as His child]” (The Amplified Bible).
My mother was deeply afraid of my father, so she was unable to rescue me from the abuse he perpetrated against me. I felt very alone, forgotten and abandoned. I decided that nobody was going to help me, so I “survived” my circumstances until I could escape them.
I have come to understand that many people we encounter daily are just trying to survive until someone rescues them—and that someone could be you or me.
The Bible says that God in His love “chose us [actually picked us out for Himself as His own] in Christ before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1:4). He planned in love for us to be adopted as His own children.
God adopts the forsaken and lonely, and He lifts them up and gives them value. He works through His Word, through the Holy Spirit and through Spirit-led people who live to help others.
Mother Teresa felt that each person she met was Jesus “in disguise.” Just try to imagine how much differently we would treat people if we really looked at them the way she did.
Jesus said that if we do good or bad to even “the least” of people, we do it to Him (see Matt. 25:45). In other words, He takes our treatment of others personally.
If someone insulted, slighted, ignored or devalued one of my children, I would take it personally. So why is it so hard to understand that God feels the same way?
Let us all strive to build people up, make everyone we encounter feel better and add value to their lives. Let’s really live a love revolution.
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and one of the world’s leading practical Bible teachers. She has written more than 80 books, including the popular Beauty for Ashes and Battlefield of the Mind, and her most recent, The Love Revolution (Hachette). She is also the founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries Inc. and the host of Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. To read past columns in Charisma by Joyce Meyer, log on at charismamag.com/meyer.
For a limited time, we are extending our celebration of the 40th anniversary of Charisma. As a special offer, you can get 40 issues of Charisma magazine for only $40!