Thursday, July 15, 2010

Do More

Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness."  Hebrews 3:13

"Correction does much, but encouragement does more."  Johann Wolfgang Van Goethe

To encourage: parakaleo:  to call to one's side, to comfort, beg, console, instruct or teach.  An exhortation (to urge or persuade). 

My study this morning pointed in two directions:  we don't encourage because of envy or we fail to recognize the power of encouragement. 

I default to criticism, dressed up as correction, as if God purposed me to edit/proofread the lives and words around me.  I need to shift gears in my heart, my mind and finally to my active mouth, my gift is not filling in another's blanks out of envy or ignorance.

Why do I see my lack of encouragment as valuable contributions when I all I am doing is pointing to what is wrong, or missing or how something can be improved?   Why do I miss the tremendous value of walking alongside someone and considering, noting and commenting on what is working, what is right, what is helpful?

I applied for a job this week and listed two people as references before I asked permission from them to do so.  I was eager to accomplish my goal of submitting the application, and I made the mistake of listing those folks before asking. 

Then, I asked for their willingness to be a reference.   Both said the same, exact same thing to me:  "honored to be in that position, I hope they call."  The exact same encouragement--either they did not notice my error, or they did not care and instead encouraged my pursuit, hoping for the best outcome.

It was a powerful reminder of encouragement's real power.  The freedom from seeing what is wrong and the freedom to bless is tremendous.

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Roswell, GA
Loves to find the answers to three questions of a sound Bible study: what does it say, what does it mean, what difference does it make?