…in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. – Philippians 2:3-4
In the business world there are performance appraisals that are called “360-Degree Reviews.” Here, not only does the immediate supervisor evaluate the performance of the employee, but the people, the peers and subordinates, all around the one being evaluated, also have input for this professional review. Thus, a “360-Degree Review.”
How good it would be if I took more time to sincerely look around me at the people in my life – whether they are my nearest and dearest or acquaintances and strangers. But not to evaluate their performance. Rather to sincerely look around me to evaluate their needs and interests.
I need to be more aware of and more interested in the other people around me. Because, if I am honest, I still have a tendency to be most aware of my own needs and most interested in my own interests. Yet, everyone around me has needs and interests – in the practical, tangible, physical, emotional, relational and spiritual realms – that need to be met in order for them to survive, and to thrive, on this side of heaven.
I need to actively and intentionally, with compassion and concern, look around me to see what the needs and interests of others may be. Some may be in desperate need of food and shelter. Some may be in need because of illness or pain. Some may be in need because of the deep grief caused by the death of a loved one or the destruction of a marriage. Some may be in need because of loss – loss of a job, loss of reputation, loss of hope, loss of peace. Some may be in desperate need because of addiction and the desperate mix of selfish, self-loving, self-loathing behavior. Some may be in desperate need of a kind smile, a gentle touch, a bit of joy, a bit of playfulness, a listening ear or a caring friend. Some may be in desperate need of a courageous intervention done with the grace and truth of God.
All of us are in desperate need for Jesus. We all need God’s love, forgiveness, salvation and transformation in our lives. Some of those around me, and around you, are still lost in the brokenness of this world and their own sins. Their deepest soul needs – to know they are loved unconditionally, to know they belong to Someone forever, to know their lives matter, to know the peace of forgiveness and the hope of eternal life with God – are still unfulfilled.
We each need to look not only to our own interests, but also to the interests of others. We need to take a 360-degree perspective to see how we could meet some of those needs and interests of others in some way. This is really all about love. This is about choosing to actively and intentionally look around us with God’s love towards others and, then, love others in active and intentional ways – in practical, tangible, physical, emotional, relational and spiritual ways. As we share God’s love in the lives of others, they will not only survive, but they will thrive in the love of Jesus who is able to make us all “more than conquerors” (Romans 8:37).
May the compassionate, eternal, life-transforming love of Jesus move each of us to take a 360-degree perspective of those around us. May God’s love fill us and move us to be more sensitive and more responsive to the needs and interests, to the hearts and souls of others. And may we do it all for the glory of our God!