“Something is wrong. You are not your usual lighthearted self. Is there anything I can help you with?” When my friend spoke these words to me, my heart was comforted. Although I was struggling with a difficult situation, I had been trying to stay positive and put on a happy face. But my friend noticed details that signaled to her that I was burdened by something, and she took the time to reach out with love. This is an example of the Biblical principle of looking on the things of others. Looking on the things of others is a principle in God’s Word that we can apply to extend ourselves in loving service to our brothers and sisters in Christ and to anyone in need (Galatians 6:10).
God’s Word encourages us to look on the things of others.
Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
The Greek word translated “look…on” in this verse means “to look at, i.e., care for, have regard to a thing.” We are to care for, or have regard for, the things of others. One reason it is important to look on the things of others is because as born-again believers, we are members of the same Body—the Body of Christ.
So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
As members of the same Body, we impact each other by what we say and do. It is important to be aware of those around us, so that our words and actions impact them in a positive, godly way. And we may not be spiritual “kin” to all of our friends and neighbors, but we can do good unto all. Looking on the things of others helps us recognize opportunities to reach out in loving service.
We can make looking on the things of others part of our lifestyle of loving service. Three simple keys we can apply to develop the habit of looking on the things of others are what we can think of as “the three Bs.” These three “Bs” are be observant, be a good listener, and be a big giver.
As we observe those around us, noticing details about them, we will be more likely to recognize when someone is not at their best and may need our help. This is how my friend knew something was wrong and reached out to help me. We don’t want to become so focused on ourselves or so distracted by the things of the world that we lack awareness of what is going on with the people around us. Noticing even when little things seem out of sorts in another’s life and caring enough to reach out to them can go a long way in lifting a burden they may be carrying.
BE A GOOD LISTENER
This is an important quality to develop in our quest to build the habit of looking on the things of others. The first step to being a good listener is to engage in conversations. We show our care and concern for others by taking the time to talk with them, getting to know them better. Asking questions is an effective way to learn about someone. As we show our genuine care by being a good listener, people are more likely to share their heart with us. This allows us the joy and privilege to offer assistance when it is needed and be of help to others in God’s household and in the world.
BE A BIG GIVER
Being observant and being a good listener are qualities that enhance our awareness of those around us. These qualities enable us to more readily recognize needs in the lives of our brothers and sisters in Christ, our neighbors, or someone seated beside us on the bus. Once we notice a need, we want to take action to help. This requires giving on our part, so we want to be big givers. There are a wide variety of ways to give as we recognize needs. Offering to pray with someone, lending a hand with household chores, or simply taking time to comfort another with encouraging words are all ways to give to someone. The needs that people encounter come in many different forms, and so do the ways in which we can give of ourselves to help someone get their need met. What may seem like a small gesture to us in extending our help to someone can have a powerful impact on their life.
As God’s children, we are all members of one Body—the Body of Christ. We are members one of another, and it is important for us to be aware of one another, looking on the things of others as God’s Word exhorts us. We can also be looking out for how we can help anyone in need around us. Looking on the things of others is a principle in God’s Word that we can apply to extend ourselves in loving service. Let’s determine to be observant, to be good listeners, and to be big givers. Let’s show care and concern for each other by looking on the things of others.