Have you noticed how you feel after spending time with certain people?
I can pinpoint certain people who leave me feeling refreshed and joyful when I leave them, looking forward to seeing them again. They are like sun showers.
And yet there are others who just leave me feeling drained, like I used up all my emotional reserves just being with them. They are like sponges.
And then there are others – perhaps the majority of people I interact with – who neither refresh nor drain me. We just interact and then go with our days – the experience is fairly neutral.
When I think about these different kinds of people and my interactions with them, I wonder what kind of person I am? Obviously, I want to be a “sun shower” – the kind of person who refreshes and re-energises others. I want to leave a positive mark on everyone I meet during my day.
What are the characteristics of a “sun shower” person? These are some of the things I notice in those I know:
- They are genuinely interested in whoever they are talking to. Whether it be a good friend, a new acquaintance or even the guy behind the cash register. There are no unimportant people.
- Godly wisdom soaks every word they speak. They don’t give pat answers, or just repeat back what you want to hear. Their words add value to the listener.
- They have a real joy that radiates from their heart. They don’t give a fake smile and say that they are “fine” – you can see they have a deep joy that is not swayed by their circumstances. This kind of joy is contagious – it is what makes us want to be around them!
The problem is that focusing too heavily on how others perceive and feel about us can lead to people pleasing; a kind of idolatry that comes from fearing man rather than God.
Ironically, a people-pleaser is more likely to come across as a “sponge” to those around them. In their desperation to please (and to know that they are pleasing) they suck the affections and thoughts right out of whoever they are talking to.
Galatians 10:1 says:
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
We can’t try to please people and God at the same time.
It is only through focusing on pleasing Christ alone that we can have the real joy from within that will leave others feeling refreshed in our presence.
This is not about wanting others to “like” us, but wanting others to be drawn to Christ through us.
I guess you could call these people “Son” Showers.