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Focus on people rather than tasks in lifecomment (0)

October 6, 2011

By Jean Roberson

My mother passed away several years ago. I remember the flowers and the songs we sang at her funeral. In the order of worship, on the left-hand side, there was an obituary where her accomplishments were listed. Some of those accomplishments I was not even aware of until I read them.

What I remember the most about that day is the people who attended. Though I was in my late 20s and we all lived in another state from where I grew up, people from my high school and college days drove into the state for the funeral.  

It was great to see them, but they were not there to support me. They came because my mother had made a significant difference in their lives. They came to share how she touched them.

In that moment, I thought, “I want that to be my legacy. I want my legacy to be more about the people I touch than the tasks I accomplish.”

We talk so often about God’s will for our lives. When we do so, we often think in terms of tasks and accomplishments such as what we will study in school, what career we will have and what leadership roles to take on. What if God’s will is not so much about the tasks of the journey but about whom we meet on the journey?  

Think about it. When we read about Christ’s life, His time seems consumed with the people He meets on the journey and how He touches their lives.

The list of the tasks He accomplished prior to Calvary is fairly small compared with the list of lives He touched.

Is it possible He was modeling for us a life that focused on whom we meet as opposed to what we accomplish? Is it possible His stern words to the teachers of the Law were because they became consumed with accomplishing tasks instead of loving those around them?

Here is my question: How does this change how you interact with those around you? How does this change your leadership in the places you serve? Are you a person who is consumed with tasks or those around you?

I do not believe it is a choice between tasks and people. You can do both. The difference is which is the main focus in your work and your life. Do you sacrifice people in order to accomplish the task, or do you recognize the task as simply another way to affect people?

Truthfully speaking, very few people remember what my mother accomplished in her life. However, many people remember how God worked through her to shape their lives.    

A Takeaway Value …
God’s will for my life and leadership may be more about whom I meet on this journey than what I accomplish.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Jean Roberson, MSW, LCSW, is a ministry consultant for national Woman’s Missionary Union. She serves as team leader for the adult team and director of Christian Women’s Job Corps/Christian Men’s Job Corps and International Initiatives.

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