It is so easy in life to have a “me first” attitude. An approach to life that finds value in the things you can put in your success column. Don’t get me wrong I find fulfillment in personal accomplishments, but in the end, I also realize that all those were not me only but me living out the call of God in my life. In this first post, I talked about how God wired me to be a person who finds joy in equipping others to live out the call of God in their lives. The second critical foundation of the wiring is there to encourage others in their journey. This illustration may add a bit of context.
“Forty thousand fans were on hand in the Oakland stadium when Rickey Henderson tied Lou Brock’s career stolen base record. According to USA Today Lou, who had left baseball in 1979, had followed Henderson’s career and was excited about his success. Realizing that Rickey would set a new record, Brock said, ‘I’ll be there. Do you think I’m going to miss it now? Rickey did in 12 years what took me 19. He’s amazing.’
The real success stories in life are with people who can rejoice in the successes of others. What Lou Brock did in cheering on Rickey Henderson should be a way of life in the family of God. Few circumstances give us a better opportunity to exhibit God’s grace than when someone succeeds and surpasses us in an area of our own strength and reputation.” -Our Daily Bread, June 19, 1994.
What an awesome approach to life when you can honestly celebrate what someone else is accomplishing in their life, even when it in erasing your legacy. How many of us could have that kind of outlook? Being an encourager means that you are there to help someone do as Jesus describes in John 14:12-14, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”
I can’t speak for anyone else, but the idea of surpassing the work that Jesus did is awesome. Jesus is laying down an appealing challenge. You will get a chance to make a kingdom difference even greater than the one He started. If Jesus was concerned with His legacy only, would He have added this encouragement for us?
What does it mean to be an encourager?
It means that we understand that life can be full of ups and downs. It is easy to get distracted, and that distraction can cause roadblocks that tempt us to throw in the towel. Life’s journey is difficult. It is filled with obstacles. You will fall and be injured by circumstances, how you respond to these situations will determine whether you fully accomplish the mission God called you and gifted you to accomplish. The role of an encourager is to remind us, not to lose heart and to point us back to the source of our strength, God.
Question for reflection:
What is grieving your spirit today that you need encouragement to overcome?