Martin Buber: Give the greatest gift

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“Meeting a person [is] a great thing, but it’s not the greatest thing. The greatest thing any person can do for another is to confirm the deepest thing in him, in her–to take the time and have the discernment to see what’s most deeply there, most fully that person, and then confirm it by recognizing and encouraging it.”

Martin Buber, Jewish Theologian as quoted by Eugene Peterson in Leap Over a Wall: Earthy Spirituality for Everyday Christians (New York: HarperCollins, 1997) 54. Special thanks to my friend and brother, J.D. Walt, for encouraging me to check out this book in his blog!

I have met some incredible Christ followers on this trip to Chiang Mai and Hong Kong. In the words of Buber, meeting them has been a great thing, but I pray by the Holy Spirit that by listening to them and celebrating how God is at work in their lives, that I have been able to affirm their giftedness and participation in God’s work.

Does someone come to mind for you today along these lines? Can you think of specific people that you could reach out and confirm the deepest thing in their lives? Follow the leading of the Spirit and give them this gift the next time you see them.