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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Encouraging you to encourage

I encourage you to encourage someone today.

Make a point of uplifting someone with words that will help them to go on.

I have read where it takes 10 positive statements to overcome one negative one.

The average pastor deals with conflict 20 hours a week - when encouraging words come they are like an oasis of water in the middle of the desert.

They are like pumpkin pie at the end of a great Thanksgiving meal.

They are like...well you get the idea.

An encouraging word can keep me going for entire week, if not month, if not a year.

I was reading this week about Willie Mays. The "say hey" kid.

Willie Mays began his major league baseball career with only one hit in his first 26 at-bats. Though he went on to hit 660 home runs (third on the all-time list), and steal more than 300 bases, his debut was so unimpressive it seemed unlikely he would last more than a few weeks as a big-leaguer, let alone become one of the greatest to play the game.

The turning point for Mays occurred when his manager, Leo Durocher, found him crying in the dugout after yet another miserable performance at the plate.

The coach put his arm around Mays and said, "What's the matter, son?" Mays said, "I can't hit up here. I belong in the minor leagues."

Durocher said this to Willie Mays: "As long as I'm manager of the Giants, you'll be my centerfielder."

You know how the story ends. It wasn't long before Mays began hitting the ball, and he was on his way to becoming a legend of the game.

If Willie had been left alone in the dugout that day, his career might have ended before it started. Fortunately for him (and for baseball) someone believed in him even when he didn't believe in himself.

Durocher's speech wasn't "You're a disappointment. Do you know how much you're costing the team? You're on the verge on blowing your big chance!" He simply said, "I know that you can make it."

Is there someone in your life who needs your vote of confidence? Someone who's ready to give up? Someone who no longer believes in their ability to do what God has called them to do?

You have the opportunity to lift them up. Your words — your confidence — can help get them back on track.

The Apostle Paul recognized the value of encouragement in the lives of believers. Have you ever noticed how often in the New Testament the word "strengthen" (or "build up") accompanies the word "encouragement"? When you offer encouragement to others, you quite literally renew their strength. Paul challenged us all:

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as you are in fact doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

Take a look around you today. There may be a future Hall-of-Famer who needs a good word from you. Give them some encouragement.


Christie said...

Hi dad,
I think that you are right about encouraging words. My own belief is that because we are christians we need to make sure that the words coming out of our mouths lift people up. I also think that it is important to speak encouraging words to friends and family. So to practice what I'm writing...:) I think your blog is really thought provoking and I enjoy reading it. It gives me something to think about throughout the week.

Jon said...

Agreed, agreed, agreed Christie (hope I spelled that right!) with all of that. Some days, I need to be on the encouraged end (this week has been a bear for less than encouragement here at work) and others, I should be on the encourager end. As a matter of fact, I think I should be on the cheerleader side all the time! I try to be uplifting to my family, to my friends, to my peers at work, to my employees...there is nothing better than to see a smile appear because I said something positive or just gave someone a hug. Encouragement is not just words but is also actions...I encourage all of you to give someone a great big hug today! Just hold on and tell them what a wonderful joy it is to have them in your life. Of course, pick your hugger carefully...some people don't like hugs (boo!) at all.

George, here's my hug { } to you...keep up the good never fail to encourage me!

God's peace and love to all