“I always thank God for you because of His grace given you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Corinthians 1:4
I love ESPN’s Top 10 Plays of the Day. There is something about a few minutes of sports highlights that gets the competitive juices flowing and makes me want to put on a jersey again! During Thanksgiving, I develop my own Top 10 that focuses on meaningful relationships that has made a significant impact on my life. I call it my Top 10 People of the Year. Looking back over the past year, there are a host of people who invested in me and influenced me along the way. Creating my Top 10 list of the people I am most thankful for is a great way to celebrate Thanksgiving.
In 1 Corinthians 1:4, Paul wrote how thankful he was for the people who helped and co-labored with him. He was always moved to thank God for all the ways they blessed his life. In the same way, I feel like Paul when I travel and spend time with our international leaders who are serving faithfully and making a huge impact in their communities. My heart immediately responds by thanking God for them, because I see first-hand the grace of God on their lives. I like to think that Paul had a Top 10 list of people who refreshed and encouraged him. He was always thanking people for the role they played in his life. I have learned that great leaders always take time to thank others in meaningful ways!
It’s been said, “You can impress people from a distance, but you can only impact them close up.” It’s easy to impress, but hard to impact. That takes time, effort and intentionality. There are always people who didn’t just impress me, but they impacted me because of their love, commitment and sacrifice. Taking time to make my list always cultivates within me a spirit of gratitude.
Here is a simple way help you develop your Top 10:
- Create Space: Spend some time praying and thinking about this past year of your life. Ask the Lord to bring people to your mind who have impacted you.
- Grab a Pen:Write out a Top 10 list of your own, but don’t worry about ranking them.
- Shout Out: Bless the people you listed and give them a shout out. Call or e-mail them and let them know that they made the list and why!
Through this process, I am also able to evaluate my own life and ask myself if I had lived in such a way as to make others’ Top 10 list. Had I been intentional about investing in others in a significant way? Was I doing everything I could to be a blessing to them?
We understand that each of us has great capacity to impact and influence others. It’s time to aim for being a Top 10 in someone’s life. God placed us here to make a difference in the lives of others, just as they make a difference for us. So, what are you waiting for? Go and be used by God to be a difference-maker, and thank those who have invested in you!
Father, thank You for placing others in my path to bless, encourage and guide me. I pray You would use me to do the same for others. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.