What Is Our Influence on People

Oh, sweetie, just put on a smile and you’ll get over it.

God will heal you if you believe hard enough.

Just stop sinning and then come to our church.

Sometimes I wonder whether in my social awkwardness whether I’ve said something as callous and stupid as one of those statements. Or maybe in a spiritually blind moment.

Have you ever heard someone approaching someone in need and just trampling all over their feeling seemingly oblivious to the person beneath the skin?

There are two reasons that people don’t come to know Jesus

  1. They don’t know any Christians.
  2. They do.

People need a guide and a mentor. They need someone who has battled the demons and come through on the other side. The 12-step people have something there.

There are people who think they have great knowledge and want to go around like Santa depositing gifts of advice on everyone.

Then there are people who really do have knowledge and wisdom, but they don’t realize it. They don’t know when they really could step in and help. These people need to be awakened. Then they could join the mentor group.

Lean Manufacturing, or Lean Thinking, teaches us that people are important. It also teaches to keep probing around a problem until we finally come to the “root cause”. Then, and only then, can we begin the process of finding a solution.

Same with people. If we don’t want to be either 1 or 2 above, then what we do is stop thinking advice and start thinking about the person. The problem probing technique is called “5 Whys.” If you keep asking Why, eventually you will come to the root of the problem.

When you are working with a hurting person, you don’t begin with advice. You ask them in a trustworthy way what is wrong, how they feel, why they think it happened, when did it start, who caused the problem. Rudyard Kipling’s six faithful serving men, who, what, when, where, why, and how.

Asking shows interest. It helps the other figure out things. Answer when asked, ask when they’re silent.

Be the type of Jesus-follower who shows concern and offers help–not the “Christian” who pompously showers advice upon unsuspecting victims.

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