Dumela my friends! What, huh? Interesting word isn’t it? I had heard it before but had forgotten all about it until my friend Sean Smith called me yesterday. We had a very interesting phone call. During our conversation he said, “Dumela Wendy!” Dumela is a South African greeting that translates as “I see you, I affirm you, I believe in you, and I see the great potential within you!” Wow! What a powerful word and a powerful gift to give to someone. Can you imagine what your family, your job, your city, and your world would be like if we would greet each other that way everyday and mean it? How empowering!
How would you feel if someone called you on the phone or wrote you a letter and told you that they believed in you, saw greatness in you- that you were not invisible- not in the shadows, but your gifts, your talents, … were noticeable, needed, and appreciated? What would happen if you told that little sister that gets on your nerves- that employee that needs to be more effective- that struggling church member that you get tired of- that son that has made bad choices, that spouse who you’ve been arguing or even silent with, … “I believe in you! You might be struggling, but I see your potential for greatness!”
Listen, we should never look to people to validate who we are, but we all desire encouragement. It makes us feel good to hear that we matter- that our gifts are appreciated and valued- that someone believes in us and knows we are destined for great things. It gives us that extra motivation and pull that we all need to keep progressing forward. In addition, I always believe that you should put into to people what you want to get out of them. If you want to see people grow, sow seeds/words of growth into their life. Invest your positive words, your time, and your resources into their lives.
I want to encourage you today to go the extra mile with people. Let someone know that you believe in them. Let them know you see greatness inside of them. Pull someone aside and say something like, “You know I just want to let you know that I see how hard you’re working. I believe in you! I know you’re destined to do great things! I know it’s been tough, but don’t give up. I know it may seem like you’re invisible sometimes, but I see you! You’ve made a difference in my life! You’ve made a difference in this church! You’re an important part of this company! We’re better because you’re here!” Pull people up and build people up with your words! Be sincere. If you’re not sincere, you’ll come across as being manipulative. Trust me, people know when you’re being manipulative! If you’re sincere, I guarantee you that person will have the best week ever!
It never ceases to amaze me how much time and effort we put into building churches, corporations, networks,… but fail to build people. We build beautiful new houses, but so often the family on the inside falls apart. We look around the beautiful church edifice, only to find that more seats/pews are empty than they are filled. We’ve worked long hours, missed birthdays, and baseball games to build a company- a legacy- only to discover that the company is not producing like it should, the workers are disgruntled, and our family members are now distant. Build people and you’ll build healthy families, churches, companies, and communities! You’ll also find yourself feeling better and feeling more empowered. You’ll find that as you give, it will be given back to you!
So are you ready? Who will you build today?
Stay encouraged and in God’s presence!
Wendy M. Reynolds