Feeling Confident In Life – Part Five

We have seen that to feel confident and appear confident in relationships and in life in general we need to:

1> Establish your worth according to God’s value system.

2> Focus on God and not on our situation

A> Confidence is not the result of an absence of problems.

B> Confidence is a result of trusting God in our problems.

C> Victories yesterday give more confidence for today.

3> Develop friendships with confident people

4> Put a few wins under your belt

5> Quit comparing yourself with others

6> Find something you’re good at and then specialize until you are special.

It could be a sport, a task, a natural ability, or a personally developed talent and ability. Use that strength as much as you can to build your level of assurance and specialization. As you do a confidence will arise inside you. A successful person will play to their strengths and not focus on their weaknesses. And this is true when building solid, long-term relationships as well. Confidence comes from knowing what you are designed and wired to do and doing it to the best of your ability. 

6> Begin to develop a knowledge of people. 

Here is a humorous old story which points out the importance of knowing who you’re dealing with. A Baptist deacon had advertised a cow for sale. “How much are you asking for it?” Inquired a prospective purchaser.

“One hundred and fifty dollars,” said the advertiser.

“And how much milk does she give?”

“Four gallons a day,” the deacon replied.

“But how do I know that she will actually give that amount?” Asked the purchaser.

“Oh, you can trust me,” assured the advertiser. “I’m a Baptist deacon.”

“I’ll buy it,” replied the other. “I’ll take the cow home and bring you the money later. You can trust me. I’m a Presbyterian elder.”

When the deacon arrived home, he asked his wife, “What’s a Presbyterian elder?”

“Oh,” she explained, “ a Presbyterian elder is about the same as a Baptist deacon.”

“Oh, dear,,” groaned the deacon, “I have lost my cow.”

The deacon knew his product; he knew his cow. But his lack of people knowledge defeated him. To have confidence you will need to take the time to study people (be a people watcher), learn necessary relational skills, and develop a well-rounded personality so that you can confidently enter into any relationship within your season of life. 

So, you have developed confidence – what do you do with it now? Now that you have all this confidence, what should you do with it? Keep refuelling it! Confidence is not a constant; it fluctuates according to your success / failure ratio in life. We all have defeats and failures which occasionally and temporarily lower our level of confidence. If you accept the fact that you will not be outstanding in everything you attempt nor in every relationship you work to establish, you will not be devastated when your best is not good enough.

You will also find your confidence has a contagious quality. It will spread throughout your sphere of influence. The Bible provides some interesting examples of “confidence contagion” which we will look at next time. 

Feeling Confident In Life – Part Four

We have seen that to feel confident and appear confident in relationships and in life in general we need to:

1> Establish your worth according to God’s value system.

2> Focus on God and not on our situation

A> Confidence is not the result of an absence of problems.

B> Confidence is a result of trusting God in our problems.

C> Victories yesterday give more confidence for today.

3> Develop friendships with confident people

4> Put a few wins under your belt

Another way to develop confidence is to put a few wins under your belt. Start with building on small successes and little by little you will tackle bigger and bigger challenges. 

A few successful victories under your belt gives you the impetus to keep starching your abilities. If you keep winning, you may see yourself as a no-limits person. Repeated failures produce the opposite effect. You begin to see yourself as a hopeless loser. The best way to develop rational, well-balanced confidence is to go after a few victories immediately following a failure. Don’t allow yourself the luxury of wallowing in self-pity.

A great confidence booster is a personal victory list of past successes and achievements. This is a biblical concept. There are two Bible characters who practiced this: Samson, who became a total failure, and David, who became a great success.

In Judges 16:20 we see Samson’s victory list:  “And she [Delilah] said, ‘The Philistines are upon you, Samson!’ And he awoke from his sleep and said, ‘I will go out as at other times and shake myself free.’ But he did not know that the LORD had left him.”

Now let’s read David’s victory list in 1 Samuel 17:37: “And David said, ‘The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.’ And Saul said to David, ‘Go, and the LORD be with you!’”

There are two strong similarities between these two men. They were both chosen, ordained, and anointed by God, and they were both leaders of Israel at a time when Israel was battling agains the Philistines. But this is where it stops; Samson and David also had three distinct differences. These differences made one a winner (and confident) and the other a loser.

The first thing we notice about Samson is that he wanted to please himself. He lived life in the flesh, depending on his own strength and felt no need to rely on God, even when going into battle. He chose the road that always leads to ultimate defeat. Unlike Samson, David desired to please God. He knew that, left to his own resources, he was already defeated. So he called upon the Lord and went to battle with divine help. His weakness became God’s strength and he was assured victory.

Samson’s alienation from God not only led to his defeat, it ended his leadership. For David, however, this episode with Goliath was the beginning of his leadership. It was the incident that brought him into a position where God could greatly use him. Victory lists should give us confidence, not cockiness.

5> Quit comparing yourself with others

Another way to increase your confidence is to quit comparing yourself with others. Comparisons always leaves you found wanting. If you are better than the person you are comparing yourself to, this makes you proud — not more confident. If you are not as good as the person you are comparing yourself to then you become depressed and, again, not more confident. 

The following little story illustrates the point. A milk truck passes two cows grazing in a pasture. On the side of the truck are the words, “Pasteurized, homogenized, standardized, Vitamin A added.” Noticing this, one cow says to the other, “Makes you kind of feel inadequate, doesn’t it?” I think we have all known that feeling of inadequacy when we compare what we can offer with what someone else offers.

Feeling Confident In Life – Part Three

To be comfortable with others and thus build great relationships that have depth and substance we need to be confident in who we are and what it is God has called us to accomplish for Him. So, how can we become confident and thus able to be transparent and vulnerable when building relationships with others?

1> Establish your worth according to God’s value system.

God demonstrated our importance to Him in two great acts. First, He created us in His own image, and second He — through Jesus Christ — died for our sins. God thought so much of you, believed in you, and saw you as a person of such worth, that He allowed His Son to die so that you could live. When we begin to see ourselves in light of God’s actions on our behalf, then we immediately begin to have more confidence. There is nothing more humbling than the realization that if you were the only person on this earth, Jesus would have died for you. That makes you priceless. 

2> Focus on God and not on our situation

Focusing on God — what He has done, is doing, and will be doing — brings you personal confidence in life. Try living according to Psalm 27:1-3…

“The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall. Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.”

We can make three observations from these brief verses.

A> Confidence is not the result of an absence of problems.

It is very clear that the psalmist encountered many problems and difficulties. He mentions his enemies, evildoers who want to devour his flesh, adversaries, and a host encamping around him.

B> Confidence is a result of trusting God in our problems.

In the midst of his difficulties, the psalmist kept focusing on God and not on his difficult situation. “The Lord is the defence of my life.”

C> Victories yesterday give more confidence for today.

In verse two the psalmist speaks in the past tense. “When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh, they stumbled and fell.” He’s talking about yesterday. In verse three, he talks about today: “Though an host encamp against me, my heart will not fear.” Confidence today is a result of victories yesterday.

3> Develop friendships with confident people

The old cliché is true: Birds of a feather do flock together. A big man is one who makes us feel bigger when we are with him.

Many people are doomed to suffer the “Charlie Brown complex.” It seems that Charlie Brown just can’t do anything right. But notice that one of his problems is the fact that Lucy is always around him. Lucy does not make it any better for Charlie Brown because she is always quick to point out the error of his ways.

On one occasion Lucy puts her hands on her hips and says, “You, Charlie Brown, are a foul ball in the line drive of life! You’re in the shadow of your own goal posts! You are a miscue! You are three putts on the eighteenth green! You are a seven-ten split in the tenth frame! You are a dropped rod and reel in the lake of life! You are a missed free throw, a shanked nine iron, and a called third trike! Do you understand? Have I made myself clear?”

Do you have a Lucy around you? It’s safe to say that if you surround yourself with people like her, you will have a difficult time developing a sense of confidence. Every time you start out there will be someone to remind you what you aren’t, haven’t been, and never will become. If we want to be confident, we must surround ourselves with confident people, people who believe in us and will be encouragers. 

Feeling Confident In Life – Part Two

So, why do we need confidence?  Why do you need confidence in yourself as we saw yesterday from Hebrews 10:35?  “Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.” 

First of all, it will give you stability in every area of your life. Confidence equals contentment with self; contentment is knowing you have all you need for the present circumstances. This leads to confidence.

Philippians 4:11-13 provides the basis for this thought. “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

These verses cannot be separated because there is an absolute relationship between experiencing life’s lows and enjoying its highs. The apostle Paul is resting on the assurance that his strength is in God alone. And, he understood that confidence and contentment gave him stability in every situation he encountered in his tumultuous life. 

Contentment is taking your present situation — whatever obstacles you are facing, whatever limitation you are living with, whatever chronic condition wears you down, whatever has smashed your dreams, whatever factors and circumstances in life tend to push you under — and admitting you don’t like it but never saying, “I can’t cope with it.”

Contentment means you may feel distress, but you may never feel despair. You may feel pressed down, but you may never feel defeated. Paul says there are unlimited resources, and as soon as you say, “I can’t cope, “ you are failing to draw on these resources that Christ has readily, by His loving-kindness, made available to you. Contentment, therefore, is being confident that you measure up to any test you face because Christ has made His strength available within you.

If the first thing confidence does is to stabilize you, the second thing it does is to stretch you. The moment that I have my foundation strong and stable, I am in position to begin stretching. Insecure people and those who lack self-confidence seldom stretch because they are not willing to live on the edge of adventure in life. They are too insecure to risk what they have for what they might achieve and gain if only they let go and stepped out in faith. 

Helen Keller said, “Security is mostly superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” 

Think about a rubber band which is totally useless unless it is stretched. When insecurity and lack of self-confidence keeps us from stretching and growing, we end up with a life that is as unexciting and useless as a limp rubber band. 

We need confidence so that we can be stable in life not allowing neither want or abundance to control our response to daily circumstances and situations. Secondly, confidence allows us to risk stepping out in faith and in the process stretching and growing. 

Transferring this truth to the leadership level we see that confidence helps a leader to believe in other people because they are secure and confident. I mean, don’t we see others as we see ourselves? Show me a leader who believes in other people, and i will show you a leader who has a lot of confidence in their life. An insecure leader, on the other hand, believes neither in themselves nor in others. Insecure people are afraid to risk building up others with compliments, because they are constantly in need of compliments themselves.

A leader with confidence is a leader who brings about positive change in people. People must have affirmation, praise, and encouragement in order to believe in themselves, move forward, and maintain a high-level of excellence in the things they are called to do. Withholding negative or critical comments is not nearly as important as giving positive input through complements and praise. Again, the only people who can do this are those who feel positive about themselves. Work plus praise increases energy, but work without praise drains energy.

If you study the life of Paul, you will note he uses the word “confidence” in three distinct but related ways. Six times Paul refers to confidence in his relationship with Christ, six times to his confidence in himself, and six times he mentions his confidence in relationships with other people. There must be a balance because all three areas are related. Without confidence in Christ we could be tempted to become egocentric and cocky. Without confidence in ourselves we are defeated, powerless Christians. Without confidence in others we are suspicious and untrusting. 

Paul learned this lesson and it made him a successful motivator, leader, and servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. You cannot consistently perform in a manner that is inconsistent with the way you see yourself. The price tag the world puts on us is just about identical to the one we put on ourselves. Self-confidence is the first prerequisite to doing great things for the Lord and the Kingdom of God. 

Feeling Confident In Life – Part One

Have you ever noticed that some people simply stand out in a crowd? What is it about them that sets them apart and that draws them to your attention? 

    • Their sense of direction — the assurance that they know where they are going?
    • Is it an awareness that they have certain abilities?
    • Maybe it’s because they have good people skills?
    • Is it their sincerity?
    • Their past successes?
    • Their ability to use eye contact and body language?

What do they have that draws people to them and that people appreciate, apparently feel comfortable around, and even want?

I believe it is “confidence!” Self-confidence carries a conviction, a strength, and it draws others to you. It allows you to stand out in a crowd. And, it helps people to feel comfortable around you. But most importantly, confidence allows you to feel comfortable and even relaxed around others. You know who you are. You understand your purpose at this stage in your life. You are good at what you do – having sharpened your talent and learned important skills. You feel strong and secure, self-confident. The result: you live with conviction and as a result others will feel comfortable around you. 

A story I read back in September, 1989 goes like this:

A five-year-old boy was intently working with his crayons at the kitchen table when his mother walked in and questioned what he was doing. Her son replied, “I’m drawing a picture of God.”

“But honey,” she responded, “no one knows what God looks like.”

With great confidence the boy boldly stated, “They will when I’m done.”

I like that sense of self-confidence, boldness, and positiveness. And, believe me, this confidence is powerful. And, confidence is also contagious. 

The writer of Hebrews recognized the value of confidence:

“Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward” (Hebrews 10:35)

The author of Hebrews is letting us know that confidence is not set in cement; it’s possible to lose it. And one of the key elements that removes confidence from the way we live life is those that we hang out with. Most people fall into two categories: confidence builders and confidence shakers. If you are unsure of yourself, a confidence shaker can do you in. 

The following story provides a great example of confidence breakdown.

A man lived by the side of the road and sold hot dogs. He was hard of hearing, so he had no radio. He had trouble with his eyes, so he read no newspapers. But he sold good hot dogs.

This man put up signs on the highway advertising his wonderful hot dogs. He stood on the side of the road and cried, “Buy a hot dog, mister?” And people bought his hot dogs. He increased his meat and bun orders, and he bought a bigger stove to take care of his trade. He made enough money to put his son through college.

Unfortunately, the son came home from college an educated pessimist. He said, “Father, haven’t you been listening to the radio? Haven’t you been reading the newspaper? There’s a big recession on. The European situation is terrible, and the domestic situation is worse.”

Whereupon the father thought, “Well, my son’s been to college. He reads papers and he listens to the radio; he ought to know.” So the father cut down his meat and bun orders, took down his signs and no longer bothered to stand out on the highways to sell his hot dogs.

Of course, his sales fell overnight. “You’re right, son,” the father said to the boy. “We certainly are in the middle of a big recession.”

Confidence shakers see the negative side of everything. When they get you to buy into it, the very thing that was helping you be successful becomes your downfall. 

Unfortunately, this negative process can and too often does happen in the lives of Christians. We all go through periods of testing, wondering if God really can meet our every need. With a little discouragement from a good confidence shaker, we begin to doubt His ability and our own. This can begin a downward spiral which ends in the pit of failure and frustration. Our confidence has not only been shaken but uprooted.

The positive message from Hebrews 10:35 is that our confidence has a great reward. If we keep and build on it, we will be more than recompensed. Confidence in oneself is the cornerstone to inter-personal success ad healthy relationships that last. It is difficult for those who do not believe in themselves to have much faith in anyone else. Self-confidence breeds confidence in others.

 

How To Have Personal Charisma! – Part Five

There are, in each of our lives, roadblocks to being a person who is known to have charisma. Again, charisma is a trait or quality in our life that can be developed. It is not reserved for those who are extroverts and enjoy being in front of others. The potential to be charismatic lies within each of us, but first we must remove hindrances from the development of this important personality characteristic.

What are some possible obstructions?

    • PRIDE. A prideful person will have a tendency to look down on other people, feeling a sense of superiority. People will not follow or identify with a snobbish personality who is conscious of status and position.
    • INSECURITY. Insecure people are not willing to take a risk. They prefer to remain comfortable and probably, unexciting.
    • MOODINESS. This is an immature quality which is detrimental to personal relationships. Moody people are fickle and, thus, people who cannot be depended upon. Confidence is never built on a person who is subject to sullenness.
    • PERFECTIONISM. Perfectionism is an obsessive need to perform flawlessly. It stifles creativity and freedom and it turns people off and away. Perfectionists can rarely affirm themselves; therefore, it’s very difficult for them to affirm others.
    • OVERSENSITIVITY. Oversensitive people are constantly licking their wounds. They look inward and are not aware of the needs of others. Naturally, people don’t flock around them. 
    • NEGATIVISM. By definition, negativism is the opposite of charisma. A person with a constant negative attitude is depressing to be around. Their personality says no to life in general. Others will avoid a person like that. There is no possibility of being a charismatic leader or friend when no one want to be around you.

Charisma begins at the cross of Jesus Christ. Let’s take a look at Philippians 2:3-11 where we see Paul using the humility of Christ Himself as our pursuit.

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

There is no question that Jesus was and is highly exalted. He had charisma. But it began with the deepest of humility. Remember: Charisma is being more concerned about making others feel good about themselves than you are in making them feel good about you!

In review – Traits of a person with charism…

    • Concern – What they show
    • Help – What they offer
    • Action – What they provide
    • Results – What they produce 
    • Influence – What they do
    • Sensitivity – What they follow
    • Motivation – What they give
    • Affirmation – What they share

How To Have Personal Charisma! – Part Four

We are looking at building personal charisma and thus being someone others would want to be in relationship with and even friends with. We are looking at these personal qualities that we can learn and develop by using the word CHARISMA as an acrostic.So far we have seen:

Concern – The ability to show that you care

Help – The ability to reach out

Action – The ability to make things happen

Result – The ability to produce

Influence – The ability to lead

Sensitivity – The ability to feel and respond

Charismatic people have the ability to be sensitive to changing situations. They are adept at taking advantage of the mood, feeling, and spirit of any situation. Most people have the ability to feel something, but they aren’t sure how to react to it or express it. Charismatic people not only feel it,. But they know how to react and express it.

Charismatic people find a cause; that’s discernment. They also voice a concern; that courage. And they draw a crowd; that’s automatic.

If you are to become more sensitive, you must be willing to take a risk. Take the initiative to find a need and take action. People who are overly sensitive to the point that their feelings are always hurt will withdraw from others and never take a risk.

But the charismatic person will risk getting out of their comfort zone in order to make others feel comfortable.

Motivation – The ability to give hope

The secret of motivating others is providing them with hope. People tend to feel more positive when they are in relationship with someone who brings hope to the surface in their life. Let’s take a look at some Bible people who offered hope (and thus were able to lead others who were drawn to them):

    • Isaiah, speaking of God, said, “I will do something new” (Isaiah 43:19)
    • Jeremiah talked about “…new law in their hearts” (Jeremiah 31:33)
    • Jesus spoke about being born again (John 3:3)
    • Paul called a Christian a “new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
    • John’s vision recorded in Revelation spoke of “a new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1)

Each of these dynamic leaders constantly waved hope before their people.

Do you convey hope or despair to those around you? Learn affirmation skills, problem-solving techniques, ways to verbally encourage others, and convey belief and support in others. 

Affirmation – The ability to build up

Charles Schwab, the successful businessman, said, “I have yet to find the man, however exalted his station, who did not do better work and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval than under a spirit of criticism.”

Everyone wants and needs to be affirmed for his or her accomplishments. A little boy playing darts with his father said, “Let’s play darts. I’ll throw and you say, “Wonderful!” That’s what the charismatic person does for others.

We tend to become what the most important person in our life thinks we will become. Think the best, believe the best, express the best in others. Your affirmation will not only make you more attractive to them, but you will help play an important part in their personal development.

How do you affirm others? First we need to feel good about ourselves. Then we can verbally and actively believe in others and expect them to respond positively. People are our only appreciable asset. As Christians, we cannot afford to not affirm them. If I fail to affirm a brother, we both lose.  

So, how do we have personal charisma? We have looked at eight qualities we will need to build into our life and relationships if we hope to be charismatic as a person…

Concern – The ability to show that you care

Help – The ability to reach out

Action – The ability to make things happen

Result – The ability to produce

Influence – The ability to lead

Sensitivity – The ability to feel and respond

Motivation – The ability to give hope

Affirmation – The ability to build up

How To Have Personal Charisma! – Part Three

We are looking at building personal charisma and thus being someone others would want to be in relationship with and even friends with. We are looking at these personal qualities that we can learn and develop by using the word CHARISMA as an acrostic.So far we have seen:

Concern – The ability to show that you care

Help – The ability to reach out

The “A” in CHARISMA stands for Action – The ability to make things happen.

Something exciting always seems to be happening around a person with charisma. The charismatic person has an aversion to being bored and boring. He or she may be interesting, controversial, unusual, or entertaining, but never boring. 

Be honest with yourself and evaluate how you come across to others. A young fellow in a dry church service turned to his mother and said, “Pay the man and let’s go home!” That preacher obviously lacked charisma. 

When evangelist John Wesley was asked why people seemed to be drawn to him, he answered, “Well, you see, when you set yourself on fire, people just love to come and see you burn.”

Do you want to increase your interest with other people? Develop your creativity and your confidence. Creativity is the ability to say things in an unusual way; confidence is the ability to do things in an unusual way. Charismatic people can do both. Develop these two traits and people will stand up and take notice.

As a speaker and apostle, I always want to be fresh and exciting in my presentations. I will use humour and real life stories to drive home a point but never to distract from the truth. Long after the content of the message is forgotten people will remember the creative illustration and the truth that was emphasized.

Results – The ability to produce is the next point…

Charismatic people want to be on the winning side of life. People like being around winners and want to play on the winning team. A boy playing chess with his grandfather says, “Oh, no! Not again! Grandpa, you always win!”

Grandpa says, “What do you want me to do, lose on purpose? You won’t learn anything if I do that!” But the boy replies, “I don’t wanna learn anything. I just wanna win!”

Charismatic people not only want to win, they want others to win too. That creates productivity. Results always follow. 

How does a person become productive? Find you strength and then find someone who needs your strength. Charismatic people use their strengths to help other people feel good about themselves; they are other-centered. The person who is self-centered uses his strength to dominate others and will simply not have people who willingly relate and follow him.

Influence – The ability to lead.

As we all know – leadership is influence. If something new, exciting, and interesting is happening in your life, you will want to share it. In doing so, you will influence others and they will want to hang out with you and follow your lead. 

What happens to you speaks to your circumstances. What happens in you speaks to your character. And what happens through you speaks to your charisma.

Do you want to learn how to be a positive influence on others? Five factors come into play:

    • Who I am — my character and gifts
    • Where I am — my location and those who are around me that I relate to
    • Who I know — my sphere of influence because people open doors of opportunity
    • What I know — my expertise, education, experience
    • What I do — my accomplishments (the fruit of my work) and my credibility

Summarizing…

Concern – The ability to show that you care

Help – The ability to reach out

Action – The ability to make things happen

Result – The ability to produce

Influence – The ability to lead.

How To Have Personal Charisma! – Part Two

We are looking at building personal charisma and thus being someone others would want to be in relationship with and even friends with. We are looking at these personal qualities that we can learn and develop by using the word CHARISMA as an acrostic.

Concern – The ability to show that you care

Charismatic people have the ability to show concern for people’s deepest needs and interests. That does not mean that charismatic people are mushy and patronizing, but when you are around them, you sense their interest and care and leave them feeling that they you are important. When you share with them they respond to what you are sharing. They let you know they heard you and understand what you said and, even more importantly, where you are coming from. They even share their thoughts and feelings about what you trusted them with when sharing. 

At any gathering you will find two types of people — those who arrive with an attitude of “Here I am!” And those who possess an attitude of “There you are!” It doesn’t take long to notice that people flock to the “There you are!” people.

So another definition of charisma that is easy to understand and grasp (again I learned this  from someone who was a great mentor) is: “Be more concerned about making others feel good about themselves than you are in making them feel good about you.” In other words, don’t try to sell other people on you, try to sell them on themselves.

If you need to develop greater concern for others in your life, increase your exposure to hurting people. We see Jesus’ sense of concern in Matthew 9:35-38 (italics added):

And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had (felt) compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.”

Here is the sequence: Jesus went, saw, felt, and cared. It’s only when we go and expose ourselves to various situations that we will see enough to develop the concern necessary to move us to action.

It’s difficult to become motivated to help people without first seeing and feeling their needs. The secret is to spend time with them. Only when you go and see will you feel and do. Only as you enter into their world and let their needs, words, and feelings enter into your heart will you begin to develop charisma. 

Help – The ability to reach out

Put simply, charismatic people are helpers. They get involved in people’s lives and respond to others. They are out there to see others become fully who God created them to be. To be the “best you that you can be” is their motto towards others.  They want people to mature and grow. They have the gift of grace. In fact, the Greek word for gift is “charisma” meaning “gift of grace.” God has freely bestowed upon us spiritual gifts because of His grace toward us.

In Romans 12:6 we read about this further: “Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them (exercise them) accordingly…” And we see in Ephesians 4:11-12, “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ…”

Notice in both references the emphasis on the variety of gifts and their purpose in the Kingdom. It is always for other people, never for self. There is no charisma in seclusion. You can’t walk into a room and have charisma by yourself!

People have problems and life issues. Many are like the beleaguered guy who, in desperation, when to a psychiatrist for help. He told the doctor, “Every time I get my act together, the curtain falls down.” He needed more than mercy and concern; he needed help. You will find that if you are adept at solving problems (offering help), that will guarantee a following forever. But if you want to develop solid, in-depth friendships or a loyal following (clientele, church members) you will need charisma. More than helping, you will need to be warm and transparent and even, at times, vulnerable. In other words, you will need to be real and have a personality that is attractive and that makes people feel at ease and at home when with you. .

What can you do to help people with their problems? First of all, encourage them to face their problem. Too often people would rather flee them, fight them, or forget them.

Second, encourage them to solve their problems. Don’t fix the problems for them. Teach them to fit them for themselves. Use the following acrostic to teach yourself to help people with difficulties.

T – Tell them it takes time.

E – Expose yourself to their problems in order to relate to the person’s situation

A – Assure them of your confidence in them

C – Creatively help them to see for themselves how to deal with their problems

H – Offer hope to them through the process

How To Have Personal Charisma! – Part One

I am an introvert. When I take tests that are meant to reveal your personality and how you function as a person I am an extreme introvert. As a result I have had to learn how to live as an extrovert because the majority of the world is extroverted. And, because I needed to develop the personal characteristics and relational qualities that would encourage others to want to have a personal relationship with me. I needed to study and then develop the character and personality traits that draw others to me. 

This is not something just introverts need to do. Every one of us needs to develop those qualities which cause people to be drawn to us and cause them to want to relate or become friends. If you don’t take the time to learn about and develop these qualities your will live a lonely life and one that is most likely an inch deep and a mile wide. Your relationships will all be fairly meaningless and very much on the surface of life. 

The word that summarizes all of this is “charisma.” Not everyone is born with charisma. But everyone can develop this quality that makes the difference between being a loner and being popular. It makes the difference between being an acquaintance and being a good friend. It is certainly the quality needed to become a leader in whatever area you are working or ministering. 

Charisma can be a difficult subject to grapple with because most people think it is a mystical, elusive, undefinable quality that you either have or don’t have. However, Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary has given several definitions to charisma, and this is the one we will use:

Charisma is a personal magic of leadership arousing special popular loyalty or enthusiasm.

I would interchange or add the word “friendship” where you just read “leadership” and add the word “personal” where it states “popular”

My definition of charisma: A personal quality of friendship (leadership) arousing personal (popular) loyalty or enthusiasm 

Each one of us has certain abilities that will increase the charisma of our personality. You don’t have to make a strained effort to become something that is not comfortable with your basic nature. However, if your desire is to become a people person and have good, life-long friends, then you need to develop an appealing personality that causes others to respond to you.

Using the word CHARISMA as an acrostic, we can define the outstanding characteristics of a charismatic person who people want to follow and be friends with. I learned this from several books and a mentor from many years ago. 

Concern

Help

Action

Results

Influence

Sensitivity

Motivation

Affirmation

Keep in mind that these traits are not simply inborn; they are attainable by anyone who cares about other people and wants to develop his or her relational skills. 

Let’s look at each characteristic in CHARISMA in a little more depth.