Pastoral Perspectives

Refreshing Others!

“A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.”  Proverbs 11: 25 NIV

“Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.”  Philemon 7 NIV

In the community of believers at True Way, what will keep us going in our life and ministries?  What will keep us going in terms of our relationship with each other?  There is a greater need for us to refresh others!  Have you ever had someone coming to you and say, “What a refreshing thought you have shared with me!  Thank you for your timely and wonderful sharing!”?  In another occasion, someone sent you a text message and brought much spiritual refreshment to you!  That message really brightens up your day!  In your most needed moment, someone sent an email to you that gave a fresh perspective of your situation which you had never seen it before!  This totally changes your whole attitude towards that situation!

When we are sensitive to the needs of others, we will know how to respond to them appropriately.  We will not just shove them aside but instead, we will do something about it.  Refreshing thoughts!  Refreshing words!  Refreshing deeds!  We all need them.  Having been touched by the love of God ourselves, we will respond with His love.  This love will bring great joy and encouragement to others.  Without the love of Christ, we will never be able to refresh others.  It is vital in the Body of Christ to constantly share refreshing thoughts, speak refreshing words and do refreshing deeds to one another.  As you refresh others, you also will be refreshed in accordance with Proverbs 11: 25.  Let me share with you some of my personal encounter.  As I was preparing some materials to teach others so as to encourage them in their faith, I found that the very things which I was about to teach refreshed my heart at that moment.  Before I could minister to others, I was already been ministered by the Lord through the lesson itself.

One day, I was reading a book written by Charles R. Swindoll.  One statement caught my attention: “The secret of living a life of excellence is merely a matter of thinking thoughts of excellence.”  To me, this was a refreshing thought.  At that moment, a person’s name came across my mind.  Immediately, I sent this refreshing thought as a text message to him.  At another incident, I was refreshed by this quotation on my desk calendar: “A friend listens to ourwords but hears our heart.”  Another person’s name came across my mind and I decided to share this with him.

In order to refresh others, we need God’s guidance, God’s help and God’s inspiration.  I found much encouragement in Proverbs 15: 23, “A man finds joy in giving an apt reply ― and how good is a timely word!”

When I thought of someone’s name, I would ask the Lord for His words of encouragement for him.  It is always a joy to be able to give a timely word to someone who really needs it.  Several times I have received such confirmation as this: “Thanks!  It comes at a right time.  I feel so tired and disheartened!

Someone sent a text message to me and it refreshed my heart.  The text message stated as:

“How wonderful if we could all learn:
To love without condition,
To talk without bad intention,
To give without reason and
To care without expectation!

Some years back, someone did a refreshing deed for my wife and me.  We received two tickets to watch an excellent concert.  It was a good time together as a couple.  We had not watched movies for years.  We were very glad to be able to watch a concert.

Beside all these, you can also share a refreshing prayer for others like this:

“My Heavenly Father, draw me close to You.  Let me not be distracted by the things of this world but let me be drawn by Your thoughts in Your precious and powerful Word.  In Your Son Jesus’ most powerful Name, I pray.  Amen.”

Refreshing thoughts!  Refreshing words!  Refreshing deeds!  Let us, then, ask the Lord our God to enable us to share refreshing thoughts, to speak refreshing words and to do refreshing deeds for others.

Pr George Ang

March 13, 2011