Patterns and Principles – Part 8
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:10
Enthusiasts: Enthusiasts are the life and soul of the party. They’re apt to have a gift for storytelling – and they like to talk about themselves. If you try to talk to them about their problems, they may listen to you at first, but they are like Teflon – it doesn’t seem to stick. Author John Ortberg tells of being in a restaurant with a friend, and every time they ordered something their server said, ‘Superb,’ or ‘Excellent choice,’ or ‘Brilliant.’ When Ortberg asked her, ‘Do you ever say, “That was really stupid,” or “That’s going to taste terrible”?’ She replied, ‘No, in the kitchen we actually have a list of affirmations, and every time somebody orders something we have to give them one of those affirmations.’ Well, enthusiasts don’t need a list of affirmations because they are always saying things like ‘awesome’, ‘wow’, ‘fabulous’, or ‘great’. Sometimes they can go for years without seeing the pain and darkness in other people, or even in themselves. They’re also tempted to make life revolve around their pursuit of positive feelings – the desire for gratification – and they can be miserable when they’re not getting enough attention. So, what’s the answer? 1) Address your need to be the center of attention. ‘Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.’ 2) Address your reluctance to deal with pain or unpleasant situations. It’s a trait that can lead to isolation and addiction. ‘Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power’ (Ephesians 6:10).
Heavenly Father, help me listen and take to heart what others share and are going through. In Jesus’ Name, Amen