I recently received an email from a preacher friend thanking me for sending Morning Manna. He said, “I read your ‘Morning Manna’ every morning as my early morning devotion. I like all of them, but especially the ones from you personally”. My first thought was “Why?”. It’s certainly not because of my ability–which leaves a lot to be desired. With a click of a button he can launch out on the internet and read the works of the best writers in the world. I’m like a preschooler compared to them. So why does he care abut what I write? I didn’t ask him, but I think I know the answer. I believe it’s because of the personal connection. Those kind words came from a dear friend that I have known and loved for many years. I can remember when he started preaching.
I’ve mentioned this because there is a lesson here for all of us. There’s something about our connection with others that can’t be explained. I am often greatly blessed by songs from people who do not have the best voice, and sermons delivered by men who are far from brilliant or eloquent. But they bless me more than others because there is a connection of some kind, and when it is personal it is powerful. That’s something we need to remember.
We each have a circle of friends and acquaintances– people with who we have a connection. God expects us to minister to these folks, to influence them for good. They might not listen to a pastor, even a skillful orator, but they will listen to you. They might never read the great Christian classics, but they will read what you write. They won’t seek help from Dr. Phil, but they will give ear to your advice. They do so because they connect with you in some way.
Several years ago I stood outside the “Louvre” in Paris and declined an invitation to go in. Yes I know what you’re thinking. You can call me crazy if you want to, but the truth is there’s nothing in there of interest to me. I would rather see a real sunset than a picture of one. A picture drawn by one of my grand-kids means more to me than anything in the Louvre. I would rather hear my wife sing than to hear the worlds highest paid entertainer. It’s all about the personal connection and knowing their character.
Listen, you have more influence over people than you think. Use it wisely! Look for opportunities to minister to others and take advantage of them when they come. There is someone who will listen to you when they won’t listen to anyone else. It’s your duty to minister to them, and there are numerous ways to do it. Write a tract, mail a letter, send an email or a text, make a phone call, send a carrier pigeon if you have to, but do something! You will never meet anyone who doesn’t need help of some kind at some time. Let God use you. You will be both blessed and a blessing. That email from my preacher friend means more to me than if I received a letter of commendation from the president. It’s powerful because it is personal. Think about it!