Nourish and flourish

It’s human nature to form quick opinions based on the things we see and hear, without taking the time to dig deeper. “Do you look at things according to the outward appearance?”1 the apostle Paul cautioned the Christians in Corinth 2,000 years ago.

Jesus also had advice on the topic: “Stop judging by mere appearances,”2 He pleaded. But if we’re honest, most of us would probably admit to doing just that, at least some of the time. Here’s a passage that got me thinking about how I see others:

“It takes love, hope, faith, and understanding to nourish the possibilities in another and to believe that there is more to a person than meets the eye. You may think you know a person well enough to know that he is beyond changing, but what if the tables were turned? Would you consider how people view and treat you to be a fair representation of who you really are and how you would want to be treated?”3

We all thrive on hearing appreciation from those around us. We gain confidence when we know that someone values our thoughts. We could all do more to help those around us flourish. It doesn’t cost much to show confidence in people. We may be pleasantly surprised what happens to someone when they’re at the receiving end of a little faith.

If we want to see the world and those around us change, let’s start by believing that others are more than they appear to be. Let’s try to draw out the good in those around us, appreciate individuals for who they are, and acknowledge their gifts and talents. When we highlight the good in them, that good can flourish even more. After all, that’s what God does with us: “God our Father … will encourage you and help you always.”4

  1. 2 Corinthians 10:7
  2. John 7:24 NIV
  3. Author unknown
  4. 2 Thessalonians 2:16–17 CEV.