Heart for Lebanon has learned 8 key principles while working with those who are under-resourced in the nation of Lebanon. These key principles will work in your sphere of influence as well, with each one building on the others.
- Listening from the heart is a game changer. One of the greatest gifts you can give to anyone is to listen. We are often in a hurry, there is so much to do, right? So, when you slow down for a minute, or an hour, and truly listen, you communicate that you value that person. It can be life changing for them. Listening from the heart requires the ability to make a soul level connection. You communicate empathy, interest, and a desire to be helpful far more by listening than speaking.
- Believing the best in people usually brings out the best of people. Even a broken clock is right twice a day. Sorry, but I love that corny line because it’s true! What you look for you will find. We are all flawed and imperfect, but when someone calls out the best in us, we often rise to that higher standard.
- Understand that hurting people hurt people. When the response to a situation is greater than the issue at hand, the real issue is always about something else. People who are hurting don’t necessarily want to hurt people, but it’s like a lion with a thorn in his paw, he can’t help it. If we can help people take the thorn out, we can help them live better. In turn, if you are in a relationship with them, your life becomes better too.
- Admit wrongs and forgive quickly. We are not perfect and as much as we try to always do right, we make mistakes. Taking responsibility for our actions is core to healthy and productive relationships. If you make a mistake, own it. If you treat someone poorly, ask forgiveness. Getting defensive never makes a relationship better. You might be right, but if you need to win, you’ll lose in the long run. When you are wronged, forgive quickly. You’ll live with less stress and enjoy life more fully.
- Always give more than you take. There may be a few people in your life that you cannot out give, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t purpose to be generous anyway. This is not about keeping score. If you keep track, you’ve missed the point. It’s a heart level thing. It’s a way of living and when our motives are pure, it brings great joy to the giver.
- Add value to people. You can add value to people in simple ways. Adding value is no more complex than the idea of how you contribute to their life, so their life is better. It can be as simple as a kind and encouraging word or it can be as involved as a lifetime of encouragement. Sometimes it involves enough love and courage to have a tough and honest conversation. The greatest value you can add to anyone is the message of Jesus Christ. The gift of eternal life is the greatest and highest value you can bring to someone.
- You can never encourage anyone too much. Have you ever been encouraged too much by someone? Of course not!
- Trust is the lifeblood of all relationships. When it comes to a relationship, trust is like a promise and you should never break a promise. In fact, that’s the essence of trust. People are counting on us to keep our promises. This reflects our character and ultimately who we are. No reasonable person expects perfection, but they do expect honesty, kindness, and doing what you say you’ll do.
We have found that as we do our best to live and practice all of these principles, it draws people into a conversation, relationships are building, and life transformation begins.