I remember my surprise when the captain of my high school basketball team, a BMOC (Big Man on Campus) called and asked me to come over to his house. “Jimmy wants to hang-out with ME?” I wondered out loud. “That’s pretty cool!”
So I did. I went to his home, watched TV and ate junk food for a bit. Then he said, "You want to shoot some hoops?" “Sure,” I replied. Now, while I wasn’t playing on the High School team, I WAS playing in a travelling youth league through our church. I preferred this due to the cute cheerleaders and the opportunity to travel to other states, etc.
Eventually, Jimmy asked me to play one-on-one. I beat him 2 out of 3 games and even slam-dunked on him once. Afterwards, he said, “Coach will be happy.” “What?” I asked. “Well,” Jimmy replied, “he asked me to check you out. I think he’d be willing to let you play any time you can. Summer league, Tuesday nights only, whatever you want.”
I was flattered and even played in the summer league. Still, I was disappointed that Jimmy didn’t want to spend time with me…he just wanted to do his duty for the team.
Later, when I started in full-time ministry, I was talking to my senior pastor's wife one day and she said to me, "Remember Joel--you don't 'DO' people. You do things...but you love people." Her words have stayed with me for over 25 years now. Why? Because she was right.
Our goal must be to care for and connect with people to add value to their lives. It's fine to do business with them. It's fine to gain their help and even financial support when appropriate. But above all, relationships matter!
The Apostle Paul wrote, "If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal (I Cor. 13:1)."
Amen! So in all you do today, keep relationships and your love for others first. Care for people--over things--and you'll be blessed.
To that end,