How to Make People Really Feel Loved
by Charlie Shedd

Close this window 

  Let all that you do be done in love.
1 Corinthians 16:14

One of the wisest men I ever knew was a big Swede who never finished high school.  Why?  Because things were tough in the old country, so he came to Minnesota.  Could he make a living in the United States?
     When I knew him he had become one of America's top construction superintendents.  He supervised the building of what were then our country's tallest skyscrapers.  And he took great pride in the finished product.  Every one of his buildings was a true giant, with the forever look.
     But he was even more proud of another thing - he was a master at other people feel extra special.
I watched him as he worked with his men.  Laborer, water boy, trained engineer, president of the company, no difference.  After a few words with him, they all seemed to stand straighter, walk taller - and look at the smiles!
Up and down the halls of our church I watched him too.  Here I saw him as a genius with boys, girls, men, women.  And oh, how the ladies loved him.  They gathered around him like hummingbirds.  Why? Because he had a good word for each and every one.
     One day the big Swede and I were on a trip.  This was the time to ask him more about his people secrets.  So he gave me a lecture on people-dealing, and it was one great lecture.
     "On the day I left home," he began, "my father said to me, 'Son, I'm sorry you did not get a good book-learning.  But you know how poor we've been. OK, so you've got to make up for that some way, and now I will tell you how.
     'There is an old proverb you must learn and live by.  My father taught it to me.  His father taught it to him, and it has been a long time with us in our family.  This is how it goes:
Even an ass likes to think he is worthy to be quartered with the king's horses!
     'You study that, son, and I promise it will be even better than the schools for you.   You will see.  Learning that - and living by it - will close even the biggest gaps in everything you do.'
     "So all the way to America, I studied about that.
     "What I decided it meant is that even the plainest person likes to hope he is somebody special.  Alright, I would train myself to imagine what other people see when they look in the mirror.  And my father was right.  It did close the gaps.
     "This is not easy," he warned, "because you've got to break the habit of thinking of yourself first.  But if you can turn your mind in this direction, you will discover there really is something special in every person. And the more you practice looking for the good in others, the more you will see it quick."
     Then he concluded his discourse with this gem:
     "The secret is to find the good things and to give them back.  I mean out loud, sincere, and very strong.  If you will do this and keep on till it comes easy, then another beautiful thing happens.  One day you'll begin to really love people like the Bible says you should."
     I'm glad he made that last point.  Without a real love at the source, a divine love, our words will not ring true.  There is a chattery flattery which is strictly phony.  But that's not for us.  For us, loving with integrity is an admonition straight from the Lord.
     Prayer for every day -
     Lord, help me to love very man, every woman,
every child with your love...Amen

Do You REALLY Love Yourself?

Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips. Proverbs 27:2

Faithful are the wounds of a friend...Proverbs 27:6

Yu Pin Wong was my roommate in college.  He was fresh from China, and "Yupi" fast became a favorite with all of us.
     But sometimes life was downright uncomfortable living with this Chinese philosopher.  By one simple sentence he could divest me of my facades.  Somehow he could see a side of me no one else could see.
     Ah, Yupi, so often you left me feeling terribly exposed.
     Yet in how many ways you blessed me, too.  Like for instance, your letter on self-effacement.  I still have it.  I still read it on occasion, and it still blesses me.
     I quote:

Dear Cholly:

Today I take my pen in hand to write you careful word.  Many times you say, "Yu Pin, I really not so good as you think."  
     You humble fellow, Cholly.  But when you say these things I have feeling you want me say, 
"You more better than anyone."
     What is the matter? In my country I am taught, "Humility only come from good opinion of self."  I am happy with your friendship.  I feel you are nice people.  But what you feel?
     I think you need like Cholly better until you do not worry so much how good he is.

Your missing companion,                
Yu Pin                                               

Do you ever catch yourself maneuvering your back into a position to be patted?  Or flapping your ears unduly for an encouraging word?  I do.  God must have know this would happen to some of us.  Why else would the Bible have so much to say about genuine humility?  Why else would he have given me a roommate like Yupi?
     So what's the answer to this tricky business of self-effacement?  One answer comes back loud and clear:

What matters most is affirmation from the Lord.
Lord, help me to love you better
So I can love Cholly better,
To love all the people
In all the world better.  Amen

Getting Even - God's Way

Never pay back evil for evil to anyone.  Respect what is right in the sight of all men.  If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men  Never take your own revenge, beloved... for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord.  Romans 12:17-19, NASB

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger...
be put away from you, with all malice...
forgiving one another,
as God in Christ forgave you.

Ephesians 4:31-32

Shirley D. lived in a large Midwestern city.  She was assistant manager of a fashionable employment agency.  She had been active in our church youth group, so we were good friends.  Now she was sharing with me from the depths of her soul:

Dear Dr. Shedd:

Last week something happened which I must tell you about.  You remember that terrible experience I had when Jean J. blackballed me from her sorority?  The boy she liked rather liked me, so she was out to get me.  I was so broken-hearted when she voted against me because I lost one of my fondest hopes.  That was the only sorority I cared about, and I had my heart  set on this one alone.
     You won't forget the hate I had for Jean because you and I discussed it several times together.  But I never could put it away.  I would lie in bed at night and think of ways to get even.  Well, last week the chance came.
     My manager buzzed me and said she had a promising prospect for that buyer's opening at the D Company.  I handle their account.  It's the smart place, good pay, nice benefits, and you meet the cream of society.
     Can you imagine my feeling when I saw who it was?  There she stood: JEAN!  She looked at me, I looked at her, and we both knew what the other was thinking.
     Since it takes three days to process an interview like this, I took her application.  Then I told her to report back, but I knew she wouldn't.  She knew it too.
     That night I went home, and you know what I was thinking.  At last my chance had come. Mother used to say, "Chickens come home to roost!"  Now it was my turn.
     But I couldn't sleep.  At times like this I keep remembering things from our prayer group.  Especially that series we had on "Words from the Cross" made a deep impression on me.  What kept coming back to me now where these words, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!"
     Well, I battled it for a long time.  This was too good to pass up.  Yet every time I thought what she had done to me and what I could do to her those words kept coming on strong.  So at last I got down on my knees and asked the Lord what I should do.  I remember so clearly how we learned that it's not good to pray, "Show me what to do!" without adding "And I will do it!"
     Well, you can guess what happened.  The next morning I phoned Jean and asked her to come in.  I told her the whole story and she got the message.  I won't try to describe it except to say it was one of the most beautiful experiences of my whole life.  I cried and she cried and we hugged each other.
     So, Jean is working for the D Company.  We had lunch today.  I'm surprised how mice she really is.
     Ever since this happened I've had the warmest glow.  I feel like I never knew what happiness means until now.  Everything else is going great too.  I thought you might like to know about this.


It's a fact, isn't it?
If we hate
even one person in the world,
we cannot love any person
with a perfect love.
God put us together that way

Everybody is a Bit Mental

Judge not, that you be not judged.  
For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, 
and the measure you give will be the measure you get.

Matthew 7:1-2

Be humble and gentle
Be patient with each other,
making allowance for each other's faults
because of your love.

Ephesians 4:2, TLB

"Everybody in the human race is a little bit mental."
     This was Grandma Smith's opinion of all the people in all the world.  And that's a right broad statement, isn't it?  But when Grandma Smith talked I listened.  Always. She was only one little old lady, but her ideas packed a wallop for me.
     From kindergarten through graduate school I've had some brilliant teachers.  But I thank God, too, for my plain-vanilla mentors like Grandma Smith.
     This saintly old woman was raised on the prairie, and her education ended with fourth grade.  But, like her Good Book puts it, "She opened her mouth with wisdom"
     One of her pet subjects was what she called "people peculiarities."  The odd.  The different.  The irregulars.  "We gotta love these too," she would say.  "If we cross them off our list because they ain't like us, we could end up right lonely."
     Grandma Smith never heard the term "tolerance quotient."  But she lived it.  One more example for Charlie.  And is there any one of us who couldn't use a bit more "tolerance quotient?"
     As husbands and wives we need it.  Every one of us comes into wedlock a bit enamored of our ideal image.  But woe unto us if we do not learn that "give a little, take a little" is an absolute must.
     And is there a caring parent anywhere who doesn't pray: Lord, every day, sometimes minute by minute, think through me.  For my children's sake, touch my tolerance quotient with your wisdom."
     The same thing goes for life outside the home.  Here again Grandma Smith is right on, isn't she?  Fellow workers, schoolmates, store clerks, kinfolk, the boy delivering our papers, friends, strangers - "Everyone of us is a little bit mental."
     Each and every one of us?  Yes, that's what she said.  But always, without exception, before we ended these discussions she would add: "Now here's something else.  With the folks that are real mental we got to remember another thing.  If we had been through what they been through, we'd be real mental too."
     Some very special lady, Grandma Smith.  Everybody loved her, including our family.  In fact, we often discussed her sayings around our dinner table.  And I will never forget the night one of the younger voices at our table announced:
     "You know what I found in our school library today?  The title was Watch Out for the Cooky Inside.  Only they didn't mean cookies.  They were talking about mental people like Grandma Smith talks about.  Only they said, 'Everybody is a little bit funny.'
     "I thought it was neat.  And the lady said I could check the book out for you.  Want me to?"

Our Savior Jesus Christ...gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.     Titus 2:13-14 KJV


Back to Top 

Close this window