God wants to use you to make a difference in the lives of others, to help them be all that God created them to be. Life is not just about you. When you pour your life into others, you will be blessed to see them growing, leading and changing the world in amazing ways.
What kind of life does it take to pour your life into others?
1. A life of suffering. Yes, to make a difference in the lives of others, you can expect that there will be periods of time that include suffering. It is through your suffering that you grow personally, and you gain the perspective that you need to help others. Don’t view suffering as punishment from God. The apostle Paul was locked in a prison cell because he was speaking the truth of the gospel: “Jesus Christ is Lord.” He suffered for that reason. But the greater purpose behind his suffering was so that he would stop his church planting travels long enough to write letters that would instruct churches in the first century, letters that are still helping us live out our faith today. He rejoiced in his suffering, because he knew there was purpose in his suffering, and he knew that through suffering he was becoming more and more like Christ, who suffered for us!
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for you, and I am completing in my flesh what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for His body, that is, the church. (Colossians 1:24)
2. A life of serving. To make a difference in the lives of others, you must find ways to serve them. This may include teaching them, encouraging them, helping them, making a meal for them, caring for them, serving them in a hundred different ways. Some people think that pouring their lives into others is simply giving them a to-do list. But real teachers, real coaches, real mentors, real disciple-makers are dedicated to serving others.
I have become its servant, according to God’s administration that was given to me for you, to make God’s message fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to His saints. (Colossians 1:25-26)
3. A life of sharing. As you pour your life into others, you will share vital information with them. This could include training, insights, feedback, tips, encouragement, and all sorts of helpful words. If you are pouring your life into someone spiritually, you will share the most important news: the good news of Jesus Christ. Paul calls this good news the “mystery” that was not fully understood until it was clearly seen in Jesus Christ. To pour your life into others, continually share the great news of the good news. Paul reminded them, and we remind you: Christ in you, HE is your hope of glory, both on this earth and for all eternity!
God wanted to make known among the Gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. We proclaim Him, warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. (Colossians 1:27-28)
4. A life of striving. Pouring your life into others is not easy. It’s a lot of work. But as you strive to do what needs to be done to help them, you are not alone. God, through the Holy Spirit, strengthens you. Your supply of energy is limited. His strength is unlimited. When you rely on your own strength, you get worn out. When you rest in His strength, you have more than enough energy and strength for the tasks of each day. Don’t strive alone. Strive in His strength.
I labor for this, striving with His strength that works powerfully in me. (Colossians 1:29)
5. A life of struggling. The struggling that you experience as you pour your life into others is not struggling against them; it is struggling for them. It is wrestling in prayer on their behalf. It is “going to bat” for them when others attack them. It is doing whatever is necessary to help them be all that God created them to be. Paul did this for the people in the churches in Colossae, Laodicea, and in many other places. Coaches stay up late trying to determine how to put their players in the right positions for their team to win. Spiritual leaders spend lots of time praying, planning, and struggling alongside those they are leading. They do this with joy!
For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you, for those in Laodicea, and for all who have not seen me in person. I want their hearts to be encouraged and joined together in love, so that they may have all the riches of assured understanding and have the knowledge of God’s mystery—Christ. All the treasures of wisdom and knowledgeare hidden in Him. (Colossians 2:1-3)
A life of suffering, serving, sharing, striving, and sharing. A life of pouring yourself into others.
What a life!