Start with the Needs of Others
“Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4 NIV).
If you want to connect with people, you start with their needs, not your own. Start with their hurts, not your own. Start with what they want, not what you want. There’s an old Chinese saying that says this: “Seek to understand before seeking to be understood.”
The Bible puts it the same way. You need to be thoughtful of others first and not worry about people understanding you. You try to understand them. That’s how you make that first connection.
Scripture tells us, “Look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4 NIV). That is such a countercultural verse. From the moment we are born, everything in our culture conditions us to think of ourselves first.
There are two basic truths about life. First, the world does not revolve around you. I know that’s shocking! Yes, you’re special in God’s eyes. Yes, you were created for a purpose. But the world does not revolve around you.
Here’s the second basic truth of life: God has promised that when you focus on meeting the needs of others, he will meet your needs. If you want your needs to be met, start meeting the needs of other people. Why? Because God wants you to learn to be unselfish. He wants you to learn to be loving and generous like he is.
Colossians 3:13 tells us, “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (NIV). Part of being considerate of other people’s needs is not expecting them to be perfect—and making allowances for their faults.
Great friends are good forgetters. They forget the bad stuff intentionally. Love forgets mistakes.
A good friend is considerate of the other person’s needs.
Talk It Over
What are some ways you can meet the needs of others this week?
How have faults or mistakes affected a friendship in your life?
How can you repair that damaged friendship and make an even deeper connection? What do you need to forget?
This devotional © 2019 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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