There have been many men and women in my life that have mentored, inspired, encouraged, and guided me on the right track, and I am grateful to God for each one. Some I have written about as Irvin Schanie and Dick White along with Jerry Douglas, and others in my teen years. Throughout my adult life in ministry as Terry Herald, Barbara Wooden and her husband Gary, Jerry Atkins, and so many others who have poured into me over the years. And there have been many others, peers who have been used by God to sharpen me as iron sharpens iron. I could not begin to name all those God has used – the ones that I know of. I am grateful to God for each one.
As I sat pondering these men and women today, my thoughts turned to who is thankful for me this holiday season? Not in a prideful way, but whose life has God placed me in with the intention that I would pour into those men and women as I have been poured into. Have I been faithful in mentoring, inspiring, and encouraging others as God desires?
I truly believe and try to live with the concept that our greatest endeavor in life should be to do for others, to encourage and to pour into people all around us in all walks of life. I know my greatest satisfaction comes in Christ. Beyond that I know my greatest satisfaction comes in serving, pouring into other people. I often share that I write and accept speaking engagements because, “Whatever God has given me, He has given me not to hoard, but to give away.”
For those of you who after reading that last statement, are thinking to write and ask for money I’ll say as the Apostle Peter said to the lame beggar in Acts 3:6, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you:”
God has blessed each one of us with gifts, experiences, talents, abilities, and passions that he intends for us to pass on to others. We are not to force our opinions or “our way” of doing things on others. We are to generously and as a father or mother lovingly guides their children, we are to do for others and pour into them as each person needs.
We are to pour into others without expecting anything in return. This is where true satisfaction comes into our life. This is where you will find and fulfill your God-designed purpose. If you are not daily pouring into someone else without any intent of self-gain, you are missing the mark God has created you for.
This Thanksgiving season as I reflect on who God has placed in my life over the years since childhood, I am grateful for each one – even the ones He used that I did not even know about. Some of you reading this are included in that category. Likewise, not for my sake but for the fulfillment of God’s purpose, I pray that somewhere around the globe there are others who are grateful for God placing me in their lives. Who might be thanking God this week for the lessons He poured into their life through you?