Earlier this week we asked our brilliant friends about seeking the treasure in others. Today we’d like to share a testimony from Michael Land in response to that question:
I recently had an encounter with a dear friend that I think the world of. She had expressed to me on several occasions that she had very little self esteem. The thought of it blew me away, as I have thought highly of her since I was a kid. Over the course of many months I would check in on her occasionally to see how she was doing. I always made sure to provide her with some scripture, and I would suggest to her a particular Graham Cooke sermon. I’m not sure if she ever followed through, but I felt that it was my responsibility to at least lead her to something up-lifting.
Last week I followed up with her again, and she explained that nothing had changed in her life. I felt awful for her because our conversations surrounding this have been going on for almost a year. I tried to encourage her as best I could, offered her some scripture and wished her well.
I thought about our conversation for several days after and then it hit me like a brick. I realized that I was doing more damage than good. My words of encouragement were only re-emphasizing that there was something about her that needed to change. It was as if I was saying she wouldn’t be good enough until she changed, which only compounded her low self esteem problem. I felt awful upon realizing this because I value her so much. I followed up with her again, and I began to tell her that she doesn’t have to change anything about herself. I explained to her in all sincerity how valuable she is to me and to God and to others, and how much I appreciate her exactly as she is, and what she has meant to me. I explained that the secret to all of this is in recognizing that we are precious and loved and valuable as we are. That is the big secret.
This whole business of Christianity is not learning to become something or someone that we aren’t, it’s loving ourselves as God loves us, and loving others as we love ourselves. We receive God’s love for ourselves and out of that love we love God and others back. There is no change required. God has already done it. We already have it. We simply take for ourselves what is freely given, and we share it freely, with no change required or expected. It was in expressing this idea to her, that I believe sparked something in her that she hadn’t heard or thought about in a very long time. Nor had I.
As many of you know, listening to someone share their story of how a teaching or key concept changed their life can be invaluable. If there is a teaching or concept of Graham’s that has impacted you, consider sharing that story with others so they can find the teaching or book that makes the most sense for their journey.
You can learn more about speaking to the treasure in others and its fundamental importance in The Language of Promise, the newly re-released book and eBook on sale at Brilliant Book House.