I’ve been thinking a lot lately about believing in people – considering it from every possible angle that I can. Why? Well, because I’ve been in spots when I needed someone to believe in me, and I’ve watched others who have needed someone to believe in them. I’ve seen people flourish from a simple, “I believe in you,” and I’ve seen people wither as the world seems to turn away. I’ve known life stories that your heart doesn’t soon forget, and I’ve had my own experiences which leave me grasping for those who will believe in me or someone in my family.
I wanted to share some of my thoughts with you, in no particular order.
At one point or another, we’ve all been in need of someone to believe in us. Maybe it was a job interview, maybe it was just a time when we were feeling down and needed encouragement, maybe it was a major mistake we made and had to “pay our dues” to fix. But we have all been there – whatever that has meant to us as individuals.
We’ve probably all heard, “I believe in you,” at some point in our lives.
We’ve all wanted to believe the person telling us they believe in us, but when push comes to shove, we often find that we feel completely alone.
(But we can’t trust our feelings.)
From a different perspective, we have all known people who have benefited from someone believing in them. Maybe it was a child trying to make it across the monkey bars for the first time, maybe it was a new coworker on the first day at the job, maybe it was someone who has made choices vastly different from the ones we would have made – and lived to tell the story.
They all have someone they can point to and say, “They believed in me!”
Their life has been enriched, made better, because someone invested some time and energy into helping them succeed.
Just like Jesus.
He knew His role in coming to this earth. He believed in us long before we even knew Him. He invested time, effort, tears, and His whole life because He wanted us to have the opportunity to be with Him forever.
It cost Jesus His whole life to believe in us, to bring us redemption.
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
What does it cost us to believe in someone else?
Energy? Without a doubt.
That’s a lot to consider, certainly. We all value our time – it’s extremely precious. Energy and effort – we don’t want to waste those. Money – we’re all trying to be careful there. Love – we don’t really want to risk getting hurt.
That time? The energy and effort we’re trying to not waste? The money we’re all trying to save? The LOVE…?
We can spend those anywhere, on anyone, and the other person will definitely benefit.
But what if we spent them on a person who needed someone to believe in them? What if we invested in “the least of these” (Matthew 25)?
Yes, they could certainly take advantage, they might not live up to our expectations, they might leave us feeling frustrated or sad, maybe even broken-hearted.
Or maybe, just maybe…
We might be the world-changer in their life.
Because believing in someone might cost us. It might hurt. It might leave us frustrated and exhausted.
But maybe we need to consider the other person, and the difference it just might make in their life.
Is it more important to be “safe” or to dare to try to be a world-changer where we can?
Because that person who needs us to believe in them? We have the opportunity to change their world – just by believing in them. By simply NOT giving up on them.
Just like Jesus did for us.
It’s easy to judge (eh-hem…spoken as one who has done this too many times).
But an opportunity to be a world-changer for someone, to remind them of how amazing they can be, no matter what?
I’ll take it.
I believe in you.