Thursday, August 9, 2012

People Blessing

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.

Heart surgery.

And although it was a process and I was most certainly a work in progress then and I still am nowone 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.

Surprising someone.

Giving away a car.

Giving away clothes.

Sowing finances.

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


Tiffany said...

Hi Sibi!

I too have learned this lesson of late - instead of a quick negative thought about someone - I will pause and say to myself - Lord bless them. I have at least started there!

I was telling a women at church I was having a hard time with the word that day - she quickly looked me in the eye and began blessing me with her words of love and encouragement then invited me over to her house for the afternoon. Truly truly blessed me!

I guess a way I have blessed someone else is by changing my plans for a few days off to instead car-a-van with her and her family to her father's memorial service in a different state. But I think that too will be more of a blessing to me!

Blessing you back Sibi for all you bless me with!

Tamara Lambert said...

I love to People Watch, but I really never thought of it negatively because I don't like to talk (and I try not to think!) ugly about others. I just like the watching. One night, several years ago, I was out with my family at a chain restaurant waiting for a table. My children were little and WE were being watched. Suddenly a young, very handsome man with a sever limp and a cane stuck out his hand and introduced himself to me, out of the blue. He was very hard to understand due to an obvious brain injury. He said, "Hi. My name's Doug. Three years ago, I was a student at the University of Arkansas on a soccer scholarship. I was in a car accident on my way back to school after a break and I almost died. I know I'm hard to understand." Doug was at this restaurant with a couple who were friends of his parents who had taken him out to dinner. The man with him reminded Doug how far he's come in the past three years since his accident. He, of course, didn't remember. A couple weeks later, I saw Doug at a hair salon. He was there with his mom, waiting on her. Obviously, his mother was a SAHM and Doug needed to be taken with her even though he was about 21 at the time. I knew the night we met Doug that my children were watching how I treated this special needs stranger. I went up and spoke to Doug at the salon those weeks later, and I knew he would not remember having met me. That was ok. He was still gracious and kind. I still think about Doug today and have prayed for him and his family many times. This was probably 12-13 years ago. I think about the call his parents must have received the day of his accident. I think about what that drive to get to him must've been like for his parents. I think about how lives were changed in an instant and how relieved his parents must have been just to know Doug was still alive. People watching can be a very good thing, if done correctly, and yes, Blessing them is a part of doing it correctly!

merirobin said...

Precious words at a very appropriate time...doing a Bible study right now and yesterdays lesson was on Characteristics of True Repentance. I too am very guilty of not just "people watching" but it usually ends up as "people crucifying". My prayers for "transformed desires and actions" are frequently wasted because of really lacking the desire to change my will. I am "intolerant" and that intolerance frequently makes me miserable because I know it is so wrong. Those are my Romans 7 days and I do thank God for his grace and love for me. But thank you so much for the wonderful words and the whole "people blessing" concept. Blessing others is such a perfect way to transform ugly into beautiful. Thanks for listening to Him and being able to convey God's love in such a perfect way.

Kit Wittner said...

Love love love this!!! Wise and compassionate words!