How Are We Perceived By Others?

5 May

How many lives we have touched for Jesus? Everywhere we go and everything we do should glorify our Heavenly Father. We may not be able to spend much time sharing about God or our praises about Him, but we can live as He tells us to and others will recognize Him in us.

I heard something a while back that I think of often, “You may not always remember what someone said to you, but you will remember how they made you feel.” Wow! I think that is a powerful statement. We have the power within us to build someone up, make them smile, or encourage them. On the other hand, we can ruin their good mood, or cause them to feel really bad about themselves. We can make them feel angry or unimportant and unacceptable. Our words and actions are that powerful!

I’m sure we’ve all heard the saying, “If you can’t say anything good . . . don’t say anything at all.” That is really true. Everyone in today’s world moves at such a fast pace. We get in such a hurry that we fail to be available to those who may really need a word of kindness or encouragement. Whether we mean to or not, we leave an impression on others. By our words, our actions or even our facial expressions we can “speak” to others.

Not long ago I stopped in a Walgreens about 30 miles away from my home. It was late in the evening and I was a little anxious about going into a strange store that late. I ran in and picked up what I needed and ran back out. The following Sunday, a friend came over to me and said, “Mrs. Linda, I saw you last night and you had an awful expression on your face, you scared me!” I laughed because I thought he was kidding me.

I am the leader of the prayer ministry at our church. My friend said he had always seen such a different expression on my face when I was at the altar to pray for others.  I goofed around with him, making excuses and trying to explain away why I had such an expression on my face. Then, I apologized to him and realized how I must have appeared to him. He walked right by me and I didn’t see him or speak to him. I had a scowl on my face. I truly did not see him and was a little nervous about being in a strange area. But, without knowing it, I left an impression on him. Since then, he sometimes looks at me and gives me a big smile, to remind me to smile.

What if he had been a friend I wouldn’t see the next day? What if he had been someone from my  church that didn’t know me well enough to tell me? I would have stood up front at the alter the next morning to pray for others.  Would that person have come to me for prayer? Probably not. I would have “spoken” loud and clear by the way I breezed past him with a scornful look on my face, not speaking a word to him.

Our words and our thoughts are powerful. What I was feeling inside that evening came through loud and clear to others. But, they didn’t know what I was thinking. It may sound insignificant, but it isn’t. We have many opportunities to speak to others even if we don’t say a word. Our actions speak to others. We need to let Jesus shine through in all we do.

Being a Christian is more than attending church on Sunday morning. Following Jesus means we develop a relationship with Him. We spend time with Him, talking to Him and reading His Word in the Bible. Each day we grow more and more in His likeness and others can see it. We plant seeds everywhere we go and in all we do. The Holy Spirit watches over that seed that has been planted in the heart of another.

We need to speak life into others.  We need to encourage them in every way we can. We need to accept people as they are. We need to let them know they are valuable; go the extra mile.  We should choose to uplift others and not be critical. We need to let God use us so that His Holy Spirit can draw others to Himself.

Seeds aren’t very big – many of them are tiny. But from those seeds grow mighty things.

Plant seeds. God will do the rest.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: