Learn to LIFT
Our lives can become extremely superficial without our permission. How does this happen? For some people the feeling of insignificance, of being void of the ability and personality to redemptively influence others that holds them back. We look at our little collection of gifts and knowledge and think, what can I possibly do to make a lasting difference? For some people all that stops them is knowing how.
So I want to lay out a strategy so simple, every single person can do it, and do it successfully. Are you ready? Here it is.
Lift others up.
Be a lifter!
Lift is a simple acronym for a four part strategy you can employ to become a lover/lifter of the people in your world. You have a unique sphere of influence. I can’t lift the people in your world. You can’t lift the people in mine. That why God needs us all involved.
L stands for look. Simply look around you. Notice your hair stylist’s mood, your co-worker’s expression, your child’s teacher’s body language. Look. And if, when you become aware of who is in your world, you realize you have no significant relationships with people who don’t profess faith in Jesus, then you need to redefine your sphere of influence. You need to get out of your Christian bubble and engage the world.
Once we reorganize our lives so that we have lots of contact with non-Christians, we can began to pray for them daily. That’s the second letter in our acronym. I is for intercede. We can pray for the needs we know they have. We ask God to use those needs to draw their attention to their greatest need: their need to know God. We ask God to open our eyes to ways we can practically express our true friendship to them—and for opportunities to share the truth of the story of Christ.
My friend and mentor, Helene, taught me the value of writing down the names of the people God brought across my path in a prayer journal and asking God to give me insights into their lives, their needs, and show me how to pray for them intentionally and intelligently. I did this, and as I prayed for my friends, I became far more aware of opportunities to express Jesus’ love to them practically.
F is the third letter in lift. It stands for friend. I’m using “friend” as a verb here, meaning to show my friendship in practical ways: bringing meals when people are sick, offering to host baby showers, helping with a move, inviting them out for coffee, letting them know I was praying over their children and job situations… This decision to friend is a choice to get involved. It’s not a short term project, but a long term commitment to a genuine relationship.
I aim to make one intentional contact each week to friend someone. I’ve discovered it really doesn’t take that much time. It just needs to be on my radar. If I’m going to make one meal, it’s not much harder double the recipe and make two. If I’m going to shovel one driveway, I might as well get a really good workout and shovel two. (Then I can actually save time by skipping the gym!) I can write cards or emails during tv commercials or when I am waiting for a ride. One way to be very intentional about friending those we pray for is to set a weekly budget for that purpose. Maybe it’s only enough for one latte or Timmy’s per week, but the thought that goes into bringing someone a coffee makes that person feel noticed, accepted and valued. Maybe you love to give flowers or you could take a co-worker for lunch after a tough morning at work. Only our imagination and initiative limit the possibilities.
People are watching us, looking for ways to authenticate what we say we believe.
What good is it dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing and you say, “Goodbye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well” – but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. (James 2:14-17)
Our deeds authenticate our faith. Our representation of Christ in the world, saying what he would say, loving as he loves and doing what he would do that draws people to him like bees to begonias. People don’t really care if Christianity is true if they don’t see that it is good. That instead of bringing division and criticism into the world, it brings help and hope.
Where do we get the idea that to represent Jesus well, we have to have it all together? In my experience, it has been those times when I have been broken and vulnerable when my life has had the biggest impact on others. Often those are the times when our friend’s questions come bubbling to the surface and we are invited to talk about the Hope that is within us.
The T in lift is for talk. This isn’t about trying to shoehorn a memorized gospel presentation into a casual conversation about gardening. “So speaking of planting sweet peas, have you ever heard of the four spiritual laws?” It’s about honestly answering questions that arise out of the authentic quality of your life and your faith.
You can do this!
Look for people in your world who don’t know God.
Intercede for them and your interaction with them
Friend them by loving and serving them in genuine relationship
Talk about your faith in Christ when they ask questions
Are you needing a dynamic speaker to take life experiences and integrate them into teachable life lessons for your upcoming event or retreat? Email Donna at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how you can Kick the Boring out of your event! Located in Calgary, Alberta but is available to travel anywhere to share kicking strategies!