In the same vein of thought tonight I can’t help but think about another crucial element of talking… encouragement! This is due to some of the classes I have taught over the past week where I had my students write “Barnabas Letters” of encouragement to friends, faculty, family, etc. I loved watching them get excited about actually doing what God told us to do as the body of Christ…
Hebrews 10:24 “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works…”
Or how it appears in the Message: “Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out…”
There’s an intentionality to encouragement! My mind immediately went to the baseball field after a swing and a miss when a coach or teammate would yell out, “That’s alright Big Boy, it only takes one!” Or maybe after a strikeout… “Get him next time, Slugger!” Those types of words created a team-atmosphere where when I would mess up I was quick to tell the next guy to “pick me up.” When I had success I loved to hear, “That a boy!”
Stay after it! We are in this together! I’ve got your back! To be honest there is even more reason for this to be fresh on my mind… With my current health situation I have been so blessed with all the encouragement I have been receiving literally from all over the world. (I’m on a big team!) I even was the recipient of some of the “Barnabas Letters” I assigned. As a result I will share another great verse from Proverbs 12. This is a chapter ripe with reminders about the power of our words…
Proverbs 12:25 “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad.”
I have every reason for anxiety but honestly keep getting told how amazing it is that I am handling things well… it is not amazing, it is God’s promise! I have received so many “good words” all I can be is glad! It is not me, it is amazing friends, colleagues, former players, etc.
So here is what I want you to do after you read this devotion… Make a plan to be an “Intentional Encourager!” (And follow through with it!) Today you can change someone’s outlook! Today you can be a blessing! Today you pick someone up! (And while you are at it I will take some more of those prayers as I enter the “fight phase” of recovery.)