Choose People

Choose people over things or projects. A chapter in the book Choose!


Dealing with the public is the worst thing in the world, someone observed of a job. While some jobs do deal with people more than others, none frees us from interaction with the human species.

You touch lives at every turn. See them as more than pieces to provide you with your wants.

Choice Thought

What really matters are people, not things, not projects. Make every action cultivate and deepen relationships with others.

Choose People

A gold watch and a pat on the back aren’t much for the person who spent his life building a career, only to turn it all over to the company at retirement. He’s left with nothing.

A Brazilian university professor disguised himself as a street sweeper and for eight years worked on campus without discovery. Colleagues passed him by without even looking his way. One day he needed to enter the building where he taught in his real job. He walked the halls without anyone acknowledging his existence or recognizing him in his work clothes.

We see people only when they offer something of importance to us. Those who can do nothing for us are invisible to us.

Choosing people doesn’t mean kowtowing to the whims and wishes of others. To have a healthy relationship you must be sure in your own person. Intimacy requires maturity.

Manipulation uses people for one’s own gain, leading them to ends or actions not in their interest. Love acts always to bless.

  1. Examine how a personal or business decision will affect the people involved.

  2. Analyze how your plan or goal will help others achieve theirs or enrich their lives.

  3. Each day, ask yourself how you may be a blessing to someone.

  4. Discover how you may help others to open up and draw closer to them. Explore how to befriend people.

  5. Ask polite but probing questions of others, and listen.

The Bible has long been the standard for helping us to choose people over things and objects.

In what has become known as the Golden Rule, Jesus said, “Treat others in the same way that you would want them to treat you” (Luke 6:31).

He identified the second greatest commandment as “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39).

Choosing people means they are more important to us that our own goals or projects. While we don’t erase our personalities or values, we realize that, at the end of the day, at the end of a life, what matters is what we have invested in family, in friends and in our neighbor.

Choice Quotes

Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh!” he whispered.  “Yes, Piglet?” “Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s paw. “I just wanted to be sure of you.” –A.A. Milne

Some of the biggest challenges in relationships come from the fact that many people enter into a relationship in order to get something: they’re trying to find someone who’s going to make them feel good. In reality, the only way a relationship will last is if you see your relationship as a place that you go to give, and not a place that you go to take. –Anthony Robbins

Only if we can restrain ourselves is good conversation possible. Good talk rises upon much discipline. –John Erskine

Choice Scriptures

Do not repay anyone evil for evil; consider what is good before all people. –Romans 12:17

So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us do good to all people, … –Galatians 6:10

Each of you should be concerned not only about your own interests, but about the interests of others as well. –Philippians 2:4

For there is no one here like him who will readily demonstrate his deep concern for you. –Philippians 2:20

… be peaceable, gentle, showing complete courtesy to all people. –Titus 3:2

Honor all people, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the king. –1 Peter 2:17

Therefore we ought to support such people, so that we become coworkers in cooperation with the truth. –3 John 8

(All citations are from the NET Bible.)

Think, Choose, Do

  1. What person would I most like to bless today?
  2. What positive act have I thought about doing for someone that I just haven’t acted on yet? Why not?
  3. Where have I put my own interests or projects ahead of a relationship? How can I correct or remedy that?

Your Turn

What do you think about today’s UPLift? Write your thoughts and reactions below in the comments box.

Get the book Choose! here.

J. Randal Matheny

Be pithy.

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