If we were sitting at work right now we could probably throw our stapler and hit a inspirational quote calendar or picture on the wall with some encouraging saying on it. There are as many inspirational and encouraging quotes as there are stars in the sky. Pictures with “You got this!” or “Be Brave, Be strong and blah blah blah….” or even ones with Bible verses on them. We use them as decorations in our house and work spaces, we see them at the gym and even the doctors offices. THEY ARE EVERYWHERE!
In our day to day lives we see these things and really overlook them. We check our calendar with the quote and we are like “that’s cute” or “that’s a good one” and then carry on with our lives completely forgetting about it. We see it so much it just gets lost like a tree in the forest.
But, if we sit back and ask ourselves Why? Why is it everywhere? Why do we infuse it into so many things?
No one likes to be belittled or talked down to. We can all think of a time that it has happened to us. When a sharp word cut right into your soul. We yearn for confirmation, for praise and an encouraging word.
Over the past few weeks I have been talking to the 56 students about this. We went over James 3:1-12 about how powerful the tongue can be. James compares it to a bit in a horses’ mouth and rudder on a boat. How something so small can control things extremely large. A small spark can burn down a whole forest. What we tend to forget is what comes out of our mouths, what we write down or type out matters. Our Words Matter!
It is always an amazing thing seeing how God is in control and how He is lacing everything together all the time. Last Sunday I talked to the 5th and 6th graders about encouragement. I showed them how Paul throughout his letters was always encouraging everyone. In one of my favorite books of the Bible; Philippians, Paul is in prison and he is still encouraging and lifting the Church and fellow believers in his letter.
This Bible is chocked full of examples of encouragement and encouraging words.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 New Living Translation (NLT)
11 So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.
Hebrews 3:13 New International Version (NIV)
13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
How encouragement is shared with the hopes that it will lift someone’s heart toward the Lord. It points out evidence of grace in another’s life to help them see that God is using them. It points a person to God’s promises that assures them that anything they face is under His control. And then, as if God knew what He was doing or something, the church decided to put feet to my words (this happened with no input from me) and encouraged and thanked the medical community here in our area. We long for a kind word. We long to be loved. I believe our church does just that. You, the church, do just that in the community and with each other.
So, as we continue to be stuck at home, I leave you with a couple challenges: How can I be an encouragement to someone I may not get along with? How can I do a better job encouraging my family and friends?
Then in the end when it’s all said and done, we can hear the final encouraging words from the Man Himself “Well Done, My Good and Faithful Servant”.
By His Grace,
Church 56 Director