Seth Pinckney loving your friends well-min

Using your gifts to love your friends well


Today’s post comes from Seth Pinckney, a local paint estimator, member of our Servant Leadership Team, and resident jack-of-all-trades. We think this will be an encouraging look at how Seth loves and serves the people around him by generously using his gifts.

I feel rather lucky to know my love language and how to use it. It took me a while to figure out, but at 35 I have it down to a science – if we’re friends and you need help with something hands-on, I’m going to help and enjoy helping.

Writing it down sounds kind of glamorous, but the truth is I’m usually covered with grease changing a timing belt or helping unclog disgusting things from a garbage disposal. With Paul referring to parts of the body (1 Corinthians 12) I most identify with a foot; utilitarian, not glamorous, and a lot of times covered in dirt.

I don’t have a good answer on why “Acts of Service” became my main love language, but I can give some insight on how I feel when helping people. Both solving a problem and seeing a project through to completion bring me a lot of satisfaction. Couple that with helping a friend and it is the makings for an ideal day for me. 

I’ll give an example that happened recently with a friend from Cypress. I received a phone call that included, “We are three strong, independent women, but we cannot seem to get this washer and dryer hooked up.”

I laughed at the phrasing and had a free Sunday afternoon, so I headed over to their house to help. In their defense, the dryer had the wrong electrical connector to plug into the outlet at their house. The remedy included a trip to Home Depot and some electrical wiring knowledge to attach the new connector. While I was busy switching connectors, my friends asked if I wanted to join them for a home-cooked dinner. Given that I live alone and usually default to Chinese takeout, I eagerly accepted their invite.

Here are my takeaways from this interaction:

  1. I was able to solve the problem and help friends.
  2. I spent time catching up with friends over a meal.

There are also dozens of stories like this involving car repair that I could go into but want to pause and make an important point: my relationships with these friends are the reason I’m able to serve them in this way.

Usually, based on the individual relationship, I can tell how pushy I can be. Most of these interactions come up naturally in conversation and I’ll offer to help and we’ll work out a plan together. There are a select few close friends who I will drop by their place, demand their car keys, then return their car repaired later in the day – but know your audience when trying to love people.

My final point is this: work on relationships with people and as they become friends, love them as you know how.

Or “love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18, Mark 12:31).

With current social distancing and stay at home orders, I’ve been receiving texts and calls from my friends whose love language is “Words of Affirmation.” They have built relationships with me and are trying to love me with their love language. As an introvert, my first reaction is to cringe when I receive a phone call, but I truly appreciate these friends loving me through available communication channels when I’m stuck at home.