Are you warm or cold-natured?
What is the most extreme temperature change you’ve experienced?
To what extent do you feel pressure to live up to a certain standard to others so that God is honored?
Color requires light. It can’t exist without it. But that’s not the only benefit of light. Light is nourishing, and it gives off warmth. Being God’s masterpiece isn’t just about how we look to others. It’s a more comprehensive experience for people who cross our paths. We impact their lives in powerful ways; rather, God impacts their lives in powerful ways through us.
Have you ever noticed how relative the feeling of warmth is depending on what you’ve become accustomed to or where you live? Someone travelling from Florida to Colorado would say Colorado is cold. Someone from northern Minnesota would disagree. At the end of winter, people wear no coats on a temperate day. But at the end of summer, people are wearing jackets on a day with the exact same temperature. Temperature itself is not relative. Our experience of it is.
The same is true when we interact with each other. What one person says is friendliness, another will define as standoffishness. What one person says is generous, another will say is stingy. We cannot control how others respond to us. We can’t figure out exactly what we need to do to get a specific reaction from individuals, to make them feel God’s warmth. Instead of trying, we can put all of our effort into following God. When we bask in His warmth, we absorb it. We then live with it. We still don’t know how people will respond to it, but God does. We don’t have to control all the details—just be obedient. God’s warmth will nourish us—and others.
Invest in someone’s life today. Contact someone you’ve been encouraging and take the next step. Watch for someone you don’t have much of a relationship with yet but plant the seeds of encouragement with a smile and brief word. Appreciate when others encourage you—with a word, kind deed, or smile.