“Hey, how are you?”

One of the many great things about being immersed full-time in the life of the church is interacting with such a wide range of people. An interesting insight from this is the approach and attitude to life at the moment that different people take. 

Let’s be honest – 2020 didn’t go how many of us would have liked. So far, 2021 is looking like a curious mix of positivity and progress with the same shadowy scenes of last year never too far away. The difference in people’s approach and attitude to all of this, their perspective on all of this is, honestly, staggering. 

Some seem to be all doom and gloom (think Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh). This kind of person responds to a message of “How are you?” with something like this:

“I’m/we’re ok, holding on I guess…surviving…existing I guess…”

Others reply with something like this:

“Hey! Thanks so much for reaching out! I’m/we’re doing well…would never have planned this but we’ve got so much to be thankful for…I’m just so grateful that…I’m really loving…We’re focusing on…How are you?”

I’m not saying that a quick digital interaction with someone can paint an overly accurate picture of their general approach to life and all its trials and tribulations, but we learn a lot about each other by what we say and how we say it, don’t we? Words, and how we use them, are powerful (see Matthew 15.1-20, Proverbs 18.21, for example).

God wants more for you than for you to survive, to hold on, or to just exist. The pinnacle of His plan for humanity is not that we have life, and life-just-surviving. Jesus said this:

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;

I have come so that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.”

John 10.10

God wants more for you than for you to survive, to hold on, or to just exist. He wants you to thrive and to have life; abundant, vibrant, fulfilling, satisfying, love-filled, and eternal. Notice with me that none of this is tied to circumstances or situations. No matter what is going on around you, no matter what is happening to you, no matter what people are doing for you (or not), God wants more for you than for you to survive, to hold on, or to just exist.

That second group of people I mentioned above are absolutely right, and their perspective is so healthy, so right, and so true:

“Hey! Thanks so much for reaching out! I’m/we’re doing well…would never have planned this but we’ve got so much to be thankful for…I’m just so grateful that…I’m really loving…We’re focusing on…How are you?”

No, we wouldn’t have planned this last twelve months to look like this. 

Yes, we do have so much to be thankful for.

Yes, we are grateful for all of the good in our lives. 

So, the next time someone asks “Hey, how are you?” think really carefully about your reply. Think about what you’re saying without actually saying it. Think about what your words are saying about you and your approach and attitude toward life. I recently read this, a powerful thought to carry into the day:

“Christians are those whose hearts have been changed by the power of God, a change reflected in our words…Let the power of our words be used of God to manifest the power of our faith…Our words should demonstrate the power of God’s grace and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in our lives.”

Published by James Travis

Pastor of Saar Fellowship in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Married to Robyn and Dad to our two boys.

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