Our Bible verse for today: “Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Your focused attention is a demonstration of love.”
Be interested in other people. That’s what Paul was telling us in Philippians 2:4. Treat them like they’re important.
I was once given a great piece of advice that I wrote down and have tried to remember. I put it on an index card and carried it in my pocket for years. The advice was, “Give people dignity by the tone and manner of your greeting, and by the attention you give to them.” In other words, greet people in a warm and friendly way that clearly communicates that you’re glad to see them, then pay close attention to them, looking them in the eye, listening carefully to what they’re saying.
Leighton Ford calls this “Love as focused attention”. He says we communicate love to others when we give them our focused, undivided, and unhurried attention. I have a friend who is really good at this. He loves people and enjoys being with them. He is relaxed and unhurried in his manner, and he seems to have a natural ability to settle into a conversation and enjoy it. It’s as if the person he is talking to is the most interesting and important person he has met all day. This is giving people dignity by your manner and by paying attention to them, and it communicates love.
Think about this: In a universe of possible candidates, God has brought this person into your orbit at this time. Why is that? Why is this person standing before you instead of someone else, or instead of anyone at all? God has allowed this person to be in your life at this time for a particular reason, so pay attention to them.
In recent days we’ve been learning about using our time well and about blessing people by giving them some of our time. We shouldn’t allow people to waste our time, and we do have to make decisions about who we will give our time to, but once you do decide to invest that little piece of your life into the person standing before you, give them your undivided attention. Because focused attention is a demonstration of love.