MONDAY, FEBRUARY 15
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Philippians 2:4 (ESV)
RELATIONSHIP BREAKTHROUGH: SHOW EMPATHY
When the Kimberly-Clark corporation sent observers to watch parents and toddlers use their diapers, they asked questions, listened to the parents, and noted the struggles that many toddlers and parents were having. They sent the information back to the research and development department, and they came up with a rather innovative solution and product: Huggies Pull-Ups. Because of empathy and listening, this new product generated $400 million in annual sales before the competition caught up.
Empathy and listening is a huge part of achieving a breakthrough in our relationships. There are probably times when you think the other person in your relationship needs a pull-up diaper, but that isn’t what Paul had in mind when he wrote Philippians 2:4. Paul reminded us that we need to look at the “interests of others.” To “look” is to fix one’s attention on, with great interest in. Some of us need to take our eyes off ourselves and literally lift them to look at others and ask what they need.
Relationships are not limited to romantic relationships. There are times when we need a breakthrough in our work relationships, family relationships, neighbor relationships, team relationships, and a host of other relationships. If you are struggling with a relationship, take a moment and try to list some of the “interests” the other person may have. Ask God to help you recognize their needs and to give you a heart of empathy.