How do you show someone that you care?
Caring for others is something God expects us to do. Going all the way back to Genesis, the first book of the Bible, we see that God assigns us the responsibility to “be our brother’s keeper.”
Some folks seem to be better at caring than others. But all of us are called to show genuine love and concern to the people around us. We all need to grow in our capacity and commitment to care.
Take a look at the charge we’re given:
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. — Romans 12:10 (NIV)
Caring is not always easy. To do it we have to step outside of our self-concern, self-centeredness and selfishness. It also involves learning some new skills — caring skills. We need to know how to do it.
Let’s take a quick course in caring.
To show someone that you care you must:
C = Be COMPASSIONATE.
Compassion is a genuine connection with the burdens, problems, pain and plight of someone else. It’s emotionally stepping into someone’s world, sensing and identifying with what’s going on inside them. Showing compassion requires the suppression of our judgments and the opening of our heart toward another person who needs our love.
A = Give ATTENTION.
Care is best communicated by attention. When we stop and actively engage with someone we’re saying, “I care about you!” When we seek to understand the challenges they’re facing or the pressures they’re feeling by asking key questions and listening with focused attention, we’re letting them know that they’re loved.
R = Bring RELIEF.
Really caring for others involves bringing relief to them. A caring moment happens when some kind of helpful transaction takes place with another person. The relief may come through practical help that you directly provide, some resource you connect them with, a new perspective you guide them to discover, a new way of thinking you help them embrace, or a whole variety of other possibilities that help mitigate or alleviate the problems, pressures or pain someone’s experiencing.
E = Leave ENCOURAGED.
One of the main goals of caring is to bring encouragement to others. A caring encounter with someone leaves them encouraged. Caring interactions with others lift their spirit, give them a reason to press on, and supply them with practical wisdom, direction and assistance that will help them navigate difficult life terrain. Real caring strengthens others. It helps them stand up and live responsibly, faithfully, God’s way. Caring for others leaves them encouraged!
God wants to use you to care for others. Grow your caring skills. Keep your eyes open for the opportunities God will bring your way today to say to someone, “God cares and I care about you!”