Connect by being considerate
By Rick Warren
— February 24, 2010
"Look out for one another's interests, not just our own." Philippians 2:4 (GNT)
The second principle for connecting with people is to be considerate of other people's needs.
In other words, if you want to connect with people, you've got to start with their needs, not your own. That's how you make that initial connection. There's an old Chinese proverb that says, "Seek to understand before seeking to be understood."
The Bible talks about this in Philippians 2:4: "Look out for one another's interests not just your own." That is such a counter-cultural verse. Everything in our culture -- from the moment we're born - tends to train us to think 'me first.' As a result, we're all disconnected because we're all thinking about ourselves and not thinking about the needs of other people.
Yet, as I wrote in The Purpose Driven Life, "It's not about you!" The world doesn't revolve around you just as it doesn't revolve around me. You're very special in God's eyes. You were created for a purpose ... but the world does not revolve around you.
Here's another truth -- If you want your needs to be met, first start focusing on meeting the needs of other people. Why? Because God wants you to learn to be unselfish. He wants you to learn to love, to be generous like Him. Colossians 3:13 says, "You must make allowances for each other's faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember God forgave you so you must forgive others" (NLT). Part of being considerate of other people's needs is making allowances for their faults.
Dear Abby once ran a letter from a divorced woman. She wrote, "I'm 44 years old. I'd like to find a man my age with no bad habits." Abby wrote back, "So would I." There simply aren't any people with no bad habits or faults. We have to make allowance for each other's faults.
Proverbs 17:9 says, "Love forgets mistakes." It's not that you are blind to someone else's faults; rather, you choose to overlook them. Great friends are good forgetters. They forget the bad stuff intentionally. They don't rub it in, they rub it out.