bENCOURAGEd to: be Refreshing

Tuesday's Tip to bENCOURAGEd...

Even at a young age we all recognize the power of refreshment. Garage sales, outdoor sporting events, to fairs/flea markets, with change from underneath the couch cushions, we can all enjoy cool beverages as we support tomorrow’s entrepreneurs. While it is true that the business of refreshing others produces great payoff, it is when we serve others that we become truly refreshed.

"A generous man will prosper: he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed,"

(Prov. 11:25 NIV).

Each morning I am refreshed as I spend quiet time with the Lord. During that time I seek God's advice about how I can help Him refresh others, many times I am surprised by what He teaches me.

There are certain things that especially refresh me, so I have caught myself assuming that others are refreshed in the same way. Although our intentions might be good we often times try to serve others from our own perspective, which many times causes us to miss the mark.

Years ago, one of my daughter's friends had set up a lemonade stand. Throughout the day she began adding a variety of beverages and even started selling treats, based on listening to her customers conversations. This little girl discovered that when you give the people what they want, not what you think that they want, you are able to serve them in a greater way.

When we choose to serve someone else, not out of our own desires to be served, we too become refreshed through the love of God. So how do we find out the desires of someone so that we can refresh them? Asking someone, "How can I refresh you?" may seem a little fruity, (lemon pun intended), but maybe it really is that simple.

When I was working in the Human Resources field I spent company time and money researching how to better serve employees so that they could serve customers. Through much research and countless surveys my department continually found that if you want to know what employees or customers want, simply ask them.

Think about it. If your employee, boss, daughter, husband, or friend were to sincerely ask you this question, how refreshing would just the act of asking this be to you? I believe that when we ask God, "How can I refresh or serve you today?" He will point us towards how we can serve another person. We must remember that His ways are not our ways, (Is. 55:8), this will help us remain open as we serve so that we can let go of the need to do it our way.

Sometimes it is easier, on ourselves, to refresh strangers, co-workers, or mere acquaintances instead of the people closest to us.Things like not having to be right, letting go of having the last word, picking up someone’s clothes off the floor, giving up the last treat, or even the act of pushing the toothpaste from the bottom are simple, yet sometimes hard ways that we can refresh others - which refreshes God.

Refreshment is more than a beverage served in a chilled glass. Having a cup that runs over is always more refreshing than drinking out of a glass that eventually becomes empty. Serving others takes effort but when we do we can bENCOURAGEd which brings refreshment to all of us.

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