On Investing in People

Every day people around us are dying for just a little love, an ounce of compassion, a kind and encouraging word.  During my thirty something years that I have lived on this earth, God has opened my eyes to a world where I can see the pain and hurt around me, and a voice inside me begging me to do something to alleviate their pain so that they, too, can experience the love and joy that I now experience in my life. Today, my pastor talked about investing in people and in their lives. While you won’t be able to commit wholeheartedly to everyone around you, we can strive to invest in at least one.  Here are some basic principles in what I learned about investing in other people:

  1. Investing in others requires love.—To truly invest in others’ lives, you have to care about and love them. Loving someone means being willing to forgive and/or overlook their faults, being willing to do what is best for them, being kind and compassionate to them, and being willing to be there for them, at least, to some extent. Investing in others with true love for them, not only requires constructive criticism when they are headed down the wrong path, but also encouragement and validation of what they are doing well with in life.  Without true love, the investment will sour and you will no longer be able to really invest in them.
  2. Investing in others requires sacrifice, without expecting a return.—Investing in others will take a lot out of you. It sometimes takes many spoons (For more on the spoon theory, see this link) for me to invest in certain people, but it is usually well worth it to me. However, if you are investing in a person just so that he or she will reciprocate, then I would say, “Don’t invest in them.” If, however, you are investing in them for God’s glory and/or so that they, not necessarily you, will gain something, then you have the right attitude.  Investing in others will require some sacrifices on your part.  For instance, I’m trying to invest in a certain person right now, but if this person leaves for whatever reason, but it would be to their benefit, I would have to sacrifice my possible feelings of abandonment, loss, and sadness, to fully support them in this new endeavor.  I cannot invest in this person, expecting that the person will one day come back to a place where I can minister to them again because then it becomes about me and what I get out of the investment, more than about their joy and their fulfillment.  Some people may wonder (as I sometimes have myself), if we have to invest in others without expecting a return from them, why should we do it at all?  While we may not get a return from the people we are ministering to themselves, we do get at least one return—the feeling that you did the right thing and that you were able to share the love and compassion you have been graciously given to others.  I don’t know about anyone else, but seeing people experience and bask in the love of God and have joy in their lives gives me hope and passion to give even more of myself to others.
  3. Investing in others requires initiative.—Investing in others requires the commitment to start, even with something small, like a kind word or sharing a meal with someone that needs to talk to you. If you don’t know who to invest in, and really pour your heart into, think about investing in those closest to you (like your family and close friends). You could also invest in someone who is aching for love and compassion, or who has some physical needs.  You can also invest in more than one person. Jesus invested in at least twelve people (His disciples), but probably more.  However, even investing in one person can make a world of difference.

 

 

Many people invest in money, material items, or other things that may not matter in eternity. However, the investment of loving and caring about people is an investment that will last forever. Many people are dying for love and someone who will just be there for them. There are many lonely, sad, and hurting people in this world. Will you be the one that reaches out and gives them the love, hope, and purpose they need?  Let’s be the change we want to see in this world, and invest in someone today.

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15 thoughts on “On Investing in People

  1. As always, you say the most wonderful things.

    I’ve recently been tutoring a lady in mathematics but she could no longer afford the tutorials. I decided to help her by sending homework for no charge, but when I spoke to my dad, he said ‘why don’t you tutor her for free?’. I had thought about it but I had disregarded the idea thinking that I don’t have the time nor the money to tutor for free, however actually I do. We have to invest in others and expect nothing in return. Thank you for reminding me of this 💚

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    1. Sometimes, I struggle with not having a tangible return from others, but as it says in the Bible and probably other places too, it is the intangible things that are most valuable. Even if you never get a tangible return from the lady you are tutoring, you are helping lift a burden off her back financially and you are pouring into her life as well. The return you get is that she gets to learn what you know and do well in life, thanks to you. Great job!

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  2. This is so beautiful…imagine a world that invests in more people. I can’t say that I do this as much as I should, nor have I had people in my very own family do it for me. Each day I learn and grow to be better and I could start by doing this. Thank you!

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    1. I think often we (me included) get lazy or bogged down by life. Yes, we do need self-care sometimes, but I have found that investing in people is worth the costs involved.

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  3. This is a great message! I have seen personally too, that investing in others can be particularly hard for those who have been let down by parents, family or close friends. But it is one of those things that’s definitely worth working through.

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  4. That’s so true that investing in people requires love and no expectations to get something in return. It’s also important to show the initiative and not to wait until something happens just like that. 🙂

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