Monday, December 14, 2009

Encouragement- Oxygen to the Soul

Last night I watched Demarcus Ware of the Dallas Cowboys lying on the football field with a sprained neck injury. I watched as the medical personnel attended to him eventually immobilizing him and putting him on to a stretcher. What got my attention was as he was placed on the cart to be taken off the field, a few Cowboy players went over to him and talked with him and encouraged him.

They are a team. When one player is down they all respond with support. Probably not one of them brought up Ware’s play that day, not one of them tried to settle a problem with him, but all wanted to help!

And then I thought about the church and church leadership. What did I think? I thought how often we don’t respond in kind when someone is hurting and down. We can be a most vicious group. Rather than circling around that person with support and encouragement, we add to the suffering.

We all should seize every opportunity to give encouragement, especially when someone is hurting. Encouragement is oxygen to the soul. The Message Bible, 1Thess 5.11: So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you'll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you're already doing this; just keep on doing it.

One day a guy vacationing in the Bahamas noticed a big crowd gathered at the end of the pier. As he got closer he observed someone preparing for a solo journey around the world in a tiny homemade boat. Without exception everybody was telling him all the things that could go wrong. Suddenly the guy felt an irresistible urge to offer some encouragement. So as the little boat drifted toward the horizon he began jumping up and down shouting, 'Go for it! You can make it! We're proud of you!'"

This man had what we need more of - the gift of encouragement. We need fewer critics and more cheerleaders: those who see over the heads of the nay-sayers and shout to someone launching out in faith "Go for it! You can make it! We're proud of you!"

Give the gift here at Christmas that is priceless but costs you nothing by acknowledging the needs around you and then speaking words of encouragement to others.


Danny said...

Great post, David!! Danny A.

anika said...

hmm. I don't know....
I really don't think....
that I could agree...
great observations!!!!!
good post!
from a first time stopper by :)
many blessings to you