Monday is my day to write the weekly blog. As I was on the stationary bike at LA Fitness earlier today, wrestling with what this blog should be about, an infomercial came on the TV in front of me that answered the question.
The scene was a packed concert hall people waiting with high expectations for the curtain to open and the world-renowned pianist to take his seat, flip his coattails back and mesmerize the audience with incredible music. A couple in the audience is talking, and one says, “I thought you were watching him” referring to their 5-7 year old son. As the curtain slowly draws back they, to their horror, see their son seated at the grand piano playing chopsticks. In that instant, the celebrity of the evening steps out and slowly walks up behind the boy and, rather than scold him, begins to play along with him turning it into a chopsticks masterpiece. The expression on the parents’ faces switch from horror to pride as they rise with the rest of the surprised but delighted, audience to give both the celeb and the boy a standing ovation. The boy and the maestro humbly bow and exit the stage.
Then the caption appears at the bottom of the screen: Encouragement...pass it on!
I have never met anybody who felt they were encouraged too much. Some people exercise the gift of discouragement, even though it is not one of the gifts listed in the Bible. I have worked in several organizations and been a part of many small groups and task forces; there is never enough encouragement to go around. My experience has taught me that people are starved for encouragement, affirmation and love.
I am the first to confess that I tend to be judgmental and a bit of a perfectionist, especially when it comes to how others do things. I am asking Jesus to empower me to be an encourager, not a discourager.
I Peter 3: 9 speaks to my sinful heart in this regard, “Do not repay evil for evil, or reviling for reviling, but, on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called that you may obtain a blessing.” In Eugene Peterson’s “ The Message,” it reads, “Instead, bless— that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing.” One way I can bless people is to look for the positive things and encourage them.
How are you doing in encouraging those, blessing those, Jesus has placed in your life and world?