One of my final questions at Miss USA was, “What is your definition of beauty?” Without hesitation, I answered, “Beauty is how you make other people feel. They might not remember anything about you, but they will remember the way you made them feel.”
Even Maya Angelo said it. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you did. People will forget what you said, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
I was blessed to grow up in a home where we learned that everyone mattered. Since I was a young girl, I saw my parents treat everyone with kindness whether it was the city mayor or the neighborhood garbage man.
I remember hearing my mother telling me that Princess Diana was more than royalty, she was a people’s princess. My mother had a coffee table book about her filled with photos of her that I studied in wonder. She was royalty, in the highest position of status in England, but she spent her days as a public servant visiting with refugees in third world countries, in hospitals loving on sick children and lifting the spirits of wounded soldiers. She won the hearts of people around the world because of the way she made them feel.
Many dignitaries do a lot of the same humanitarian work or appearances that Princess Diana did, but something was different about her. Her work was not about photo ops. She put her life in danger when she traveled to Angola and walked through only a partially cleared minefield detonating a bomb in her work with the International Campaign to Ban Land Mines. She actually cared about people regardless of what they could do for her.
Diana is a role-model in many ways for women because of the way she treated people in strength and humility.
In Western culture, value is placed on getting ahead so our interactions with people are often minimized to networking events and business card exchanges. Our questions swirl narrowly around our primary interest in what they do…better yet, what they can do for us.
Treating people who seemingly can’t do anything for us with kindness and honor is the heart of Jesus and it shines through in all areas of our life.
We will never be successful if we go through life dismissing people and selecting who we will be kind to. Living as a daughter of God means that we are royalty, it means that our sisters and brothers in Christ are royalty too, regardless of how they rank in the world. We are called to be a people’s princess.
This might seems like an easy concept, “okay cool be nice to people, got it.” But it’s a little deeper than that. It isn’t just about how you act or what you say. Making people feel valued is really about what you believe. We can be really good at being nice to someone when we’re in a good mood or we are face to face with them, but what about instances like when we are on the phone with customer service?
I’ll be honest, I’ve gotten off the phone with customer service reps before thinking, “Whoa, I can’t believe I just acted so aggressively.” In those cases, it’s easy to get frustrated because our patience was tested waiting on the line forever to be connected to a real person. Once they’re on the line, we can pass that person off as a robot, especially since they are reading a script the entire phone call.
Kris has been the best example to me. The other day, I heard him for 3 hours on the phone with a customer service rep. The rep was definitely grating on my nerves because she wasn’t being efficient and it was majorly delaying Kris’s plans for the day. But he was so kind to her. He talked to her the exact same way he would talk to a client.
Even speaking to someone over the phone we will never meet can be an opportunity to show them they are valuable.
It just reminded me of how Jesus sees us. We are all royal in His sight. The poorest person will be many times wealthier in eternal life than the wealthiest man on earth who didn’t love God.
Jesus taught a lesson about a rich young man who chose worldly wealth over the Kingdom. He said, “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life. “But many who are first will be last; and the last, first.” Matthew 19:30 NIV
Here is how to make people feel like the royalty they are:
1. Ask God to help us see people through His eyes: For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:17
I have prayed specifically for God to help me see other people the way that He sees them. I knew I couldn’t minister to people if I didn’t understand them or have compassion for them. This is the kind of prayer God wants to answer, so believe that He will open the eyes of your heart to see as He sees.
2. Show no partiality among the rich and poor:
This verse says it all: My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? James 2:1-3 ESV
3. Pay attention to your line of questioning:
Ask people about anything other than about what they do. Ask questions that speak to the heart like, “What makes you laugh? What makes you cry? What do you dream about?” These three questions alone will show that you care about the actual person and make them feel valued.
4. Remember their names or something special about them:
When you meet someone, repeat their name and use it when appropriate throughout the conversation. There is power and personalization in a name and makes a person feel like you are engaged. Remember at least one special thing about them so you can bring it up next time you see them.
You’ve heard the saying that God gave us two ears and one mouth so we could listen twice as much as we talk. We don’t often get the chance to express our thoughts and feelings, so when you give someone a chance to open up, it’s refreshing. Resist the urge to use something they say as a cue to start talking about yourself. An example of this is:
Friend: “I went to Fiji last weekend!”
You: “Really? I went there last summer and stayed at the Four Seasons. It was the best trip of our lives. We went snorkeling and deep sea diving with all of our best friends. I think we’re going back in a few months!”
Many women feel like this is their way of relating to the other person. However it’s like taking a pin to a balloon and deflating the friend’s excitement to tell their story.
Here is an example of how to listen well:
Friend: “I went to Fiji last weekend!”
You: “Really?! That is so awesome. Where did you stay?
Friend: “This amazing all-inclusive resort, it was fantastic!”
You: “Wow! What was your highlight of the trip?”
Asking sincere questions shows that you are genuinely interested and allows your friend to have their moment to shine.
6. See the Jesus in everyone. He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ Matthew 25:46
Jesus tells us that rejecting or overlooking people when they need something is the same thing as rejecting Jesus, himself. When we encounter someone in need on the street, we overlook them if we feel uncomfortable. At least, make eye contact and acknowledge you see them. Even if you don’t have anything to give, remember every encounter with the needy or poor is God’s child and an opportunity to love God by loving His people.
On the flip side, remember to see the Jesus in mean, prideful people too. No one acts superior or cold unless they feel inferior on the inside. Just like the rain falls on the righteous and the wicked, we must also bless those who are difficult to bless. This is being like God.
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? Matthew 44-46 NKJV
7. Encouraging speech: Words are a gift and have the power to shift the course of an entire life. Encouraging can be as simple as commenting on something beautiful and positive about a person and there are so many opportunities to do it daily. Take time to notice the cashier at the grocery store or the barista at the coffee shop. So many people keep their eyes on their phones and barely utter a word. Be the one who takes time to lift them up. Complimenting someone doesn’t cost you anything but words are priceless. You may be the only kindness they experience in a long time. You will be surprised how refreshing others will refresh your own spirit as well.
A princess is an encourager. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29 ESV
8. Treat others the way you want to be treated:
So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12. We all know the golden rule, to treat others how we want to be treated. I know there are occasions I need this reminder.
It’s important to remember that we could lose all we have and need someone to lean on. Proverbs 27:10 NLT says, Never abandon a friend–either yours or your father’s. When disaster strikes, you won’t have to ask your brother for assistance. Be there for someone when they need help.
9. Cover one another:
A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends. Proverbs 16:28 NIV
The way we treat people behind their backs are equally as important as the way we treat them to their face. Proverbs says that a gossip causes division which is a motive of the devil. When someone wrongs us, we want our friends to take our sides which is why we feel so tempted to gossip. We also like to gossip because we think it makes us look better while making the other person wrong. When we feel threatened, gossip is an attempt to control the allegiance of others. But Proverbs 16:7 NIV promises, “When the way you live pleases the Lord, he makes even your enemies live at peace with you.”
10. Outdo one another in honor:
Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Romans 12:10 ESV.
It is so awesome to get the chance to honor people who make our lives better in any capacity. Whether it’s a speaker who just gave an awesome message, our husband for working hard or a family member or friend who loves you well. Honoring them is doing something that makes them feel special. As always, the bible calls us higher to outdo each other in honor. People don’t get recognized enough, our talents and gifts aren’t called out enough. When we honor each other, we are honoring the God who created them. Make honoring others a game by constantly trying to outdo them with thoughtfulness!
Treating other people well, no matter who they are is about being transformed into God’s image every day.
Making people feel valuable isn’t going to come from the motions on a checklist, politicians can do that. People can see through it. Everything happens in the heart and if you are sincere, people will feel your warmth.
Making people feel valuable = The Sparkle Effect
I want to reflect your love in every space and situation I am in. God, please strengthen me to be calm and kind when my patience is tested. Please help me to guard my mouth so only uplifting and productive words flow into the hearts of others. God, I want to be an encourager. Open my eyes to see past myself and to be secure enough in You that I can be others-focused. You are the ultimate encourager. Gossiping is something I struggle with Lord. I admit, gossiping feels satisfying in the moment, but I feel guilty later. Help me to trust you and realize I don’t need to gossip to get people on my side. Father, I know I am royalty, but help me to be a people’s princess so I can give a foretaste of heaven to all I encounter. Amen
Ephesians 4:23, Ephesians 4:29-32, John 15:12, Proverbs 24:17, 1 John 4:20-21, Romans 15:1-2, Colossians 3:12-13, Philippians 2:4
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