Brown is quoted as saying "I've learned that it's harder to hate up close" Let's apply her wisdom to our own lives.
I think it's safe to say, we all have things we don't like about ourselves. Think about the internal part. Consider what it feels like when there are external influences. Influences from our families, coworkers, friends, etc. Now, notice what your reaction is.
Do you want to be invisible or retreat?
Do you want to fight back, even if you don't act on it?
This is how other people feel and react too. The difference is that when you're observing these reactions, you might perceive them differently.
You might think they're shy when in actuality there protecting themselves from criticism and rejection. And they desperately want you to embrace them into your circle.
You might perceive them to be a servant when in fact they're trying to win your approval.
So, how do we as believers, feed them spiritually? This is where Brene's quote can be helpful. Don't assume, move in close and get to know their story. It's only in knowing their story that you'll understand why they're over-serving, over-communicating, or not serving and not communicating.
People have good reasons for what they do. We need to be discerning. On the outside, it may look like they are changing just because they're serving and showing up for church. But that's not necessarily inner transformation. Inner transformation is slow and the process lasts for a lifetime.
The more you listen to their story, the more you'll learn about what motivates them. When storytellers meet God's story, their story begins to change. It may be the person is used to blending in. Moving in close and listening to their story will tell the real reasons they do what they do.
From there it becomes a combination of allowing them time to grow roots, has transformational conversations, mentoring, be in community with other believers, and serve.
Do I know the purpose of transformational conversations and mentoring?
Do I know when to engage in each one?
Until next time, Mega Blessings