“Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.”
– 1 Peter 3:8
I recently heard an incredible TED Talk by a man named Aaron Stark. When he was a teenager, he was on the verge of becoming a school shooter. Growing up with two parents who were drug dealers and were constantly on the run, he was enrolled in at least 40 different schools in a period of just a few years. After a while, he stopped trying to make friends because he knew he would have to leave them, and he became a loner. When he was 16, he was scared, hungry, and at the end of his rope, so he called social services and they came and picked him up. However, because his mom was an experienced felon, she knew exactly what to say to get him released. To add insult to injury, as they were in the car driving home, she told him that she wished he would kill himself. Those words were his final straw, so he ran away to live with a friend who was inhabiting an old shack. Days later, as he sat in a lazy boy chair that was soaked with rain, he decided he was going to go on a shooting spree and kill everybody. He got a gun and was ready to head to either a mall or a school when, out of the blue, a friend walked by. Rather than try to counsel him or solve his problems, he simply said, “Hey man, you wanna go to a movie tonight?” Amazingly, that was Aaron’s turning point. When he realized that someone just wanted to hang out with him, his life was suddenly worth living. A small gesture got him back on the right track, and today, he is married with a family and is still good friends with the guy who gave him the simple gift of being noticed.
My friend, don’t fall into the trap of overcomplicating things. While you may feel like you have to fix a person’s problems or have all the answers before stepping in to help, that will only keep you from making a difference. It’s not a prescription for treatment or a perfect plan for healing that reaches a wounded heart, it’s simply letting someone know that they are seen, valued, and loved. You have the power to remind people that they matter, and that privilege, when exercised, can transform both their life and yours!
Jesus, help me not to overcomplicate things when it comes to helping hurting people.
How can you let someone in your life know that they are seen, valued, and loved today?
If you’re unable to attend your local church or need some additional weekly inspiration, be sure to tune into Hour of Power every Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. PT on TBN or watch online at hourofpower.org/episode.
I find the simple act of saying “Good Morning” to those I meet in the morning on the
elevator or on the street walking my dog makes me feel better and probably helps my neighbor!