Let Your Light Shine - Part 2

When sharing your faith remember:
  1. Acceptance. The people who you need the most are the ones who are most hard to accept. Chances are they will be surly, sullen, moody, arrogant, or egotistical. Opposite of this is the victim who doesn't want help but wants someone to feel sorry for them. When they look at you, they will be looking for the slightest sign of a judgmental attitude in your demeanor. Compassion is the key. Do not approach if you are trying to "help" them because that puts you in a one-up position. Many troubled people have nothing left but their false pride. Do not see them as a victim or encourage them to see themselves as a victim.

  2. Give them a smile and find something, one personal thing you can sincerely compliment them on. Every time you see them reinforce it.

  3. Invite them to tell you who they are with genuine curiosity. I have asked if I could write about them and I have never had anyone turn me down. Listen silently and don't show shock or judgement. Once I asked a woman if she would participate in a short survey, then I asked questions about what single mothers need to make their lives easier. I've made up many surveys like this, depending on who I am talking with.

  4. Ask their permission to tell them who you are by telling a short story about your life. Include a couple small references to some trouble that God has helped you with. Try to make your story relate to theirs. Tell them how much you needed acceptance or approval at some point in your life. Be brief. Short is the key word here.

  5. Ask them to do you a favor. No matter how they look or act, even if they resist, they will appreciate an opportunity to help you. So be very inventive with this part. e.g. I'm lonely and I hate to eat alone would you join me? Or I need help picking out a book or some music for a friend, would you have time to help? I need help talking to my friends, kids, wife about drugs, alcohol, danger? Could you tell me where a pawn shop is? Could you give me information on ----?

  6. Ask if there is anything they need from you? Be willing to do what they ask or find someone who will. With the exception of giving them money or buying them alcohol. Buy them groceries, pay for a cab or give them a ride, give them a blanket, or a coat, give them a reason to love themselves by showing them they are important to you. I once drove to a client's house, picked her up and took her back to my office for a counseling session because she didn't have a car.

  7. Find out what their interests are. What do they love? "If you could have one wish what would it be? Tell me more about this. And then what? And then what?

  8. Ask if they would like to meet again, if so set a date for a solid commitment. Tell them you would be very disappointed if they can't show up for the meeting and you would like to give them a call before the time to meet. Also give them your telephone number.

  9. Never make a suggestion about how they might do things better unless they ask you. Never make a promise or a commitment that you can't keep.

  10. Once you have their trust, a good thing to do is talk about your own walk to God and say "it's ok if you don't believe-will you just believe that I believe?

Before you speak to me about religion show it to me in how you treat other people. Before you tell me how much you love your God, show me how much you love His children. Before you preach to me of your faith, teach me about it through your compassion for your neighbors. I am not as interested in what you have to tell me as I am in how you choose to live your life.

Cory Boaher
Problem Solving and the Art of Negotiation
Let Your Light Shine - Part 1


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Wednesday, 29 November 2023

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