Here in the South some folks have a hobby they call "people watching." You may have heard of this little hobby, but just in case you have no idea what on earth I am talking about I will break it down for you.
It is literally people sitting together and watching other people and usually while they have a cup of coffee in hand and there are lots of comments exchanged back and forth.
And I'm sorry to say that here in the south it is an Olympic sport. Truly.
Folks will even refer to a specific area as one that has "the best people watching ever."
Like an airport.
Or the mall.
Or a sporting event or concert.
I am also sorry to say that I know all too well how to "people watch."
I worked in a mall for many years and also waited tables once upon a time.
And there isn't anything that can compare to working with the general public for people watching.
At one point in my "career" I managed a women's clothing store in a huge college town and had no less than 15 sorority girls who worked the sales floor during any given week.
You have never in your life heard this many one liners.
Hysterical, razor sharp, quick witted comments.
I joined right in many times either by listening and laughing or by adding my own comments.
Day after day. Week after week. Month after month.
We all participated.
Even a special friend who worked in the mall who was known for her incredible manners couldn't resist a good people watching opportunity. She would hold her powder compact mirror at just the right angle in order to "see" what all the fuss was about in the food court. She would never turn around and stare like the rest of us. But then, she also ate her morning biscuit with a fork and knife.
She was in a class all by herself.
During a time when we were busy with a little harmless people watching and commenting all in the name of a good laugh to get through the work day...
The Father was busy preparing to make a full blown heart arrest with me.
A couple of years later, after a move, a wedding and few more major life changes I found myself in the middle of a Christian women's weekend conference where the Father finally had His way.
And although it was a process and I was most certainly a work in progress then and I still am now, one of the life changing things that He ministered to me was this.
Stop people watching and start people blessing.
And even though I felt I had always been a giver and always had this mercy gift- I allowed Him to have His way with my heart and He literally taught me the very definition of what those words meant.
He imparted the art of "people blessing" to me.
A heart transformation that takes you from merely "watching" His people to a place where you are literally moved with compassion to do something to bless them.
Instead of sitting there just observing, He would prompt me to encourage, help, serve, sow, love, give and meet a need in some way.
To look for opportunities to be a blessing.
Every. Single. Day.
What does "people blessing" look like?
You name it.
But the foundation of its goodness is this...
To think more highly of others than yourself. (Phil. 2:3)
To prefer others above yourself. ( Romans 12:10)
To be moved with compassion. (Matthew 9:36)
To be doers of the word and not hearers only. ( James 1:22)
Loving your enemies by blessing them. (Matthew 5:44)
People blessing is more than just praying for someone. It is a call to action.
Instead of withholding we do something!
People blessing can look like this......
Using our resources. Our connections. Our realm of influence. Our finances.
Making phone calls and introductions to help others.
Connecting others and then bowing out and allowing God to have His way.
Serving other families in need and giving generously.
Speaking life. Building up. Encouraging and edifying one another.
Giving books and dvds and connecting others with wonderful counselors.
Holding doors and giving up seats and parking places and places in line cheerfully.
Blessing cashiers and waitresses in radical ways.
Paying for someone else's groceries in your checkout line.
Calling shelters to see how you can serve.
Helping someone by actually listening to what is going on in their life and then asking God how we can help them and following through with the blessing.
Responding to needs in radical ways.
Loving others by demonstration during their hardships in big, beautiful and creative ways.
Acknowledging the humanity in one another by really listening when others are sharing.
Searching out a way to meet a need in someone else.
Giving to the homeless, the hurting and the broken.
Giving to the married, the single and the single mothers.
Blessing those who have hurt you or mistreated you.
Using your gifts and talents to sow into the lives of others.
Giving away a car.
Giving away clothes.
Giving and loving and sowing and serving and encouraging until God tells us to stop!
People blessing is a lifestyle that brings more joy than one can imagine.
It is addictive.
To wake up each morning and look for opportunities to be a blessing even in the midst of our own needs... this is the gospel in motion.
I want to encourage you to bring glory to God today by trading out a little people watching for a little people blessing if you've never tried it.
I would love for you to leave a comment with your favorite "people blessings" either given or received for others to read and be inspired by today.
And let us not grow weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. - Gal. 6:9