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Investing into others

No matter the amount of people you are friends with, make contact with, and such will have an influence on you and you on them in someway. If you are a follower of Christ, you should be representing Christ to others. Ways you can represent Christ to others are what I would call a "deposit." Think of your Bank Account. You usually like deposits instead of withdrawals. A account with lots of money is more useful than a withdrawn account. In the same way, people that make deposits in you are more likely to gain your friendship and trust, over people that make withdrawals. Usually those type of people you stay away from. To represent Christ you must make deposits in the lives of others. Below is a list of some ways in which to make deposits.
 
Ways to deposit into the lives of others

  • Smiling
  • Greeting people (A simple "hello" or "How are you doing" goes a long way)
  • Choosing words and mannerisms appropriately
  • Doing good things for others
  • Showing grace for others mistakes (Christ showed Grace towards us)
  • Showing compassion
  • Forgiving others
  • Serving people (Jesus washed his disciples feet)
  • Giving your friendship to someone in need

There are many in life whom make life miserable for people, and depositing into them can be a real challenge as it has to me. There are those that go out of their way to greet people they do not know, but the majority don’t really seem to care about anyone other than themselves which is the real tragedy. Depositing into people is not an easy task, but one that can be accomplished with the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus made it very clear that our light must shine before men.

Matt. 5:16 (NIV) In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Our influence will go a long way, and will represent Christ to the world. The Bible again writes.

1Pet. 2:12 (NIV) Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

I can name a dozen or so people that have made deposits in my life, but one female gave me permission to use her example in this article and so I will. She made me feel welcome the 1st day I went on a particular extension ministry, and always seems to be friendly nearly every conversation I have with her regardless of the medium be it in person, email, or on the telephone. She is from California and has that outgoing personality, and so the Lord will use her in mighty ways in her interaction with others in the future I hope.

Besides depositing into others, there are many ways to withdrawal. Unfortunately too many people today do allot more withdrawing than depositing. Below are some ways to withdrawal from others

Ways to withdrawal from others

  • Selfishness
  • Not smiling
  • Always being "too busy" to spend time with another
  • Not responding to emails, phone calls and letters
  • Lacking forgiveness
  • Not keeping commitments
  • Not showing appreciation
  • Not being sensitive to another’s culture
  • Constantly criticizing and finding fault in others
  • Gossiping
  • Lying

Just as withdrawing too much from a Bank account is a problem, in the same way withdrawing too much from people can also be a problem which may lead to an overdrawn account. When we have overdrawn accounts its no wonder people do not respond to us the way we like. One guy that I know whom associates himself in the New-Evangelical/Charismatic camp, I have told and or asked not to ever contact me. Yet he continues to contact me. He blatantly appears to have little respect for others and their wishes, as he has demonstrated with me, among others. He has made major withdrawal's on my account. The fleshly approach would be to get angry and bitter with him, but the Spirit filled approach would be to love him. He obviously needs people to love him, and then maybe after he is convicted of the error of his ways, then maybe will he have more respect for boundaries and respecting the wishes of others.

Below are some questions and comments for further reflection

  • Are you putting more deposits or withdrawals in the lives of others?
  • Find someone you can start depositing into, and start to add small deposits at first like a casual smile, or greeting. Larger deposits will come but start small to gain their trust.
  • Do you have any overdrawn accounts? If so it will take time to rebuild.
  • Do you know of anyone who is withdrawing allot from your account? If so try and find a way to deposit into their lives.

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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Wolf © Church Education Resource Ministries. Website www.cerm.info. Email: johnw@cerm.info.