One of the phrases that I often pray is this “God pour into me, so that I can pour into others.” I believe one of the things God calls us to do is to take what He has given us and give it to others. Many times this comes through the experiences of life, the good ones and the bad ones. God also gives gifts to His children that we can use to pour into others. Finally he gives us skills and abilities that are unique to us, again in order to pour into others and make a difference for God in this world. If we are open to God using us as His instruments, our influence will grow and our tribe will increase. If we remain humble and meek, we will accelerate how God uses us to pour into others.
In 2 Corinthians 1:2-4 the Message Bible says this “All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.”
God promises to comfort us in our troubles, then asks us to share that comfort with others. Remember, we can’t give away what we don’t possess. We are to pass on what God gives to us. We don’t receive only for our benefit, but for the benefit of others. God calls us to empower others with the power that He gave us. Here are some practical ways that we can pour into others:
- Help someone keep their commitments to God and other people (Accountability)
- Speak words of encouragement and support (Affirmation)
- Evaluate their progress and offer an objective perspective of their situation (Assessment)
- Offer words of wise counsel and direction (Advice)
- Share words of caution, rebuke, or correction as needed (Admonishment)
- Point them to resources that can help them reach their goals (Assets)
- Love them unconditionally, regardless of their past or current situation (Acceptance)
- Coach them on how to go put into practice what they have learned (Application)
God always gives us what we need to lead. Our own baggage and insecurities often keep us from taking the step to pour into others. It is easy to make excuses about not being ready or being too busy. These excuses most often stem from our core fears. Fear of failure, fear of not knowing the right answers and looking dumb, fear of rejection, fear of being misunderstood. In 2 Timothy 1:7-8 it says “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” These three tools help us pour into others:
- Love – The relational ingredient that enables us to attract and connect with others.
- Power – The courage and competence to get the job done.
- Sound Mind – The perspective and wisdom to grasp a vision and take the right steps.
God gave us everything we need to accomplish the job. He empowers us before He ever expects from us. He gives before He demands. We receive His competence before we receive His commands. So start asking God to pour into you, so that you can pour into others.