“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”Maya Angelou
“…people will never forget how you made them feel.”
What a true statement. I think back over my short 24 years of life, and I realize that, though I may not remember the exact words or actions associated with an experience, I remember the feelings. I remember feelings of fear, insecurity, helplessness, betrayal, anger, and deep sorrow. I remember feelings of excitement, joy, peace, love, security, contentment, and hope. Because I am human, circumstances in life brought about a multiple of emotional responses – it’s simply how I am programmed. The intentional responses are what I can control.
More than to think of my feelings, this statement prompts me to consider others.
Reminiscing on How I Make Others Feel
How have I made my family members feel over my lifetime? How have I made my friends feel? How have I made my teachers and mentors feel? How have I made supervisors and subordinates feel? How have I made my husband feel? How have I made my pastor feel?
How have I made Jesus feel?
Beyond any doubt, I know that my Lord and Savior experiences emotional responses just as I do. After all, His Word tells me that He has been touched with my every emotion, which is what gives me the liberty to approach Him (Hebrews 4:15-16). I am created in His likeness and image (Genesis 1:26). His Word tells stories of His times of anger, hurt, and grief, as well as times of joy, laughter, and triumph. All of those emotions were in response to His creation’s condition or actions. So again, I must ask…
How have I made Jesus feel?
Even as small child, I remember doing things I knew I was not supposed to do. Sure, they were “small” and “insignificant” things, like maybe throwing away my breakfast when Grandma wasn’t looking, or staying up too late on a school night. But little things led to bigger things, like watching inappropriate content on TV and online, or outright lying in order to get out of trouble.
I can imagine Jesus, as He watched me grow up in a broken home, looking down with sorrow and longing for the heart of a little girl who was headed down the wrong road. It was obvious that His heart longed for mine, because He sent many teachers and preachers who reached directly for me. He was in a relentless pursuit of my soul.
Then came the day that I repented of my sins and gave my life to Him. Certainly, on that day, He experienced joy. His Word tells me that there is “joy in heaven” when repentance takes place (Luke 15:7). Likewise, the gift of the Holy Ghost is proof that He found joy in my repentance. Each time I have been renewed and restored by precious repentance and glorious Holy Ghost-infilling, I am reassured again of His joy.
As I prepare to enter a brand-new phase of life called Motherhood, I want to remember that my actions, my words, my attitudes have power. I can make others feel loved and appreciated, or I can make others feel despised and uncomfortable. I can show compassion and patience, or I can show frustration and anger. I want my husband, my family, my friends, and my soon-to-come daughter to feel cherished, regardless of the circumstances.
And above all – I want to cherish my time with Jesus. No matter how crazy life becomes, I want Him to know beyond any doubt that I love and appreciate Him.