decide to make others feel valuable. Mother Teresa said: “Being
unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody: I think that is
a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has
nothing to eat.”
I have discovered that most people we
meet or come into contact with in our everyday lives don’t have a sense
of their infinite value as children of God. I think the devil works
very hard to make people feel devalued and worthless, but we can
neutralize the effect of his lies and insinuations by building up,
encouraging and edifying people.
One way to do this is with a sincere compliment, which is
one of the most valuable gifts in this world. Offering a sincere
compliment may seem like a small thing, but it gives tremendous
I believe in having goals, and as I was working with God
to develop good habits in the area of encouraging others, I challenged
myself to compliment at least three people each day. I recommend that
you do something similar to help you become an aggressive encourager.
God speaks frequently in the Bible of
our responsibility to the oppressed, widows, orphans, fatherless and
foreigners. He mentions those who are lonely, neglected, forgotten and
He cares deeply for the oppressed and the hungry. People
can be hungry in many ways. They may have plenty of food to eat but be
starving to feel valuable.
God lifts up those who are bowed down
with sorrow; He protects the stranger and upholds the fatherless and
the widow (see Ps. 146:7-9). How does He do this? He works through
people. He needs committed, submitted, dedicated people who live to
make others feel valuable.
Mother Teresa dedicated her life to
making the outcasts feel loved and valuable. The things she did were
simple, yet great. She said: “Do not think that love, in order to be
genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without
A verse that has encouraged me is Psalm 27:10: “Although
my father and my mother have forsaken me, yet the Lord will take me up
[adopt me as His child]” (The Amplified Bible).
My mother was deeply afraid of my father, so she was
unable to rescue me from the abuse he perpetrated against me. I felt
very alone, forgotten and abandoned. I decided that nobody was going to
help me, so I “survived” my circumstances until I could escape them.
I have come to understand that many people we encounter
daily are just trying to survive until someone rescues them—and that
someone could be you or me.
The Bible says that God in His love
“chose us [actually picked us out for Himself as His own] in Christ
before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1:4). He planned in love for
us to be adopted as His own children.
God adopts the forsaken and lonely, and
He lifts them up and gives them value. He works through His Word,
through the Holy Spirit and through Spirit-led people who live to help
Mother Teresa felt that each person she met was Jesus “in
disguise.” Just try to imagine how much differently we would treat
people if we really looked at them the way she did.
Jesus said that if we do good or bad to
even “the least” of people, we do it to Him (see Matt. 25:45). In other
words, He takes our treatment of others personally.
If someone insulted, slighted, ignored
or devalued one of my children, I would take it personally. So why is
it so hard to understand that God feels the same way?
Let us all strive to build people up, make everyone we
encounter feel better and add value to their lives. Let’s really live a
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times
best-selling author and one of the world’s leading practical Bible
teachers. She has written more than 80 books, including the popular Beauty for Ashes and Battlefield of the Mind, and her most recent, The Love Revolution (Hachette). She is also the founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries Inc. and the host of Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. To read past columns in Charisma by Joyce Meyer, log on at charismamag.com/meyer.