‘…To Philemon our beloved friend and fellow labourer.’ Philemon 1:1 NKJV
Paul called Philemon ‘our beloved friend and fellow labourer.’ Obviously Paul had found the right person for the job. How do you do that? Perhaps by enjoying their uniqueness. Fred Smith says, ‘One young woman worked for me matching colours of ink. She could get tears in her eyes over certain shades of blue. “Isn’t this a beautiful match?” she’d ask. I could never figure out what went on in her head to make matching blue such a remarkable occurrence. But all I needed to do to keep her motivated was to share her excitement and appreciate her work.’ We can find the right person by knowing their capabilities. If a musician has limited talent, it’s a mistake and a disservice to talk to them about the joys of being a Mozart. In motivation, desire must be matched with ability. Then: by knowing how much responsibility they can handle. Some people can take on huge responsibility but not sole responsibility. Something in their makeup says, ‘I can do it, but I need somebody to lean on, to report to.’ We can find the right person by giving them a reputation to uphold. One leader writes, ‘One of my bosses had a way of saying nice things about his workers that got back to them… and we couldn’t keep from trying to do more things he could tell. People will work hard to uphold a good reputation.’ Finally, by knowing what they thirst for. People have different thirsts. One of the secrets of identifying a person’s thirst is seeing what motivated them in the past. People rarely outlive their basic thirst. When we satisfy that, we motivate them.
SoulFood: 2 Cor 9:1–11:15, Luke 23:13–25, Ps 52, Pro 21:17
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright ©