Come on over and join us as we discuss encouragement and its positive effects on our lives.
Don’t get me wrong, I love cheerleaders. As a young girl, I remember sitting on the bleachers, mesmerized by the cheerleaders as they tumbled and clapped; sparkling with enthusiasm, inspiring the crowd to participate.
Speaking of cheerleaders…I asked Holley Gerth if she had ever been one, she said she had not. But, Holley does exude the “I’m cheering you on” kind of attitude the comes from those with the gift of encouragement. We need these kind of people in our lives...the kind of friends that genuinely want you to shine and succeed; those generous is spirit.
Several other friends come to mind that also have this gift of encouragement. It is so refreshing to be around them. I know I can count on them to jump around and rally with joy as I nervously attempt to make a basket with my, often lackluster, attempts at offering my talents. They are cheerleading kind of friends (and they deserve a free ride to college, or a shopping spree, or an Olympic medal; whatever they fancy).
This world can quickly get us down. We can easily be overwhelmed by the real opposition we face; the unfair calls, the injuries, the defeat. Today I am thanking God for those that light up the sidelines, those that are in our corner and know when we need that pick-me-up. Like my friend who quietly slipped me a $50 bill so that I would have spending money on our girls’ shopping weekend…or the friend who faithfully prayed about that insecurity issue I often faced…or the friend who wept with me as I fell apart after another “no” with our adoption.
As I reflect on these sweet gals, I am struck by the fact that their lives are not pain-free. They are not just putting on a good show. They have been tattooed, or marked, by some hard things…stretched and bruised along this game of life, yet still offering themselves to uplift others; displaying their marks to provide authenticity for their real hope.
Am I that kind of friend? Am I a cheerleader or a cynic? Do I expect the team to lose or do I give my all to cheer them on to victory? Your team may be your family, your co-workers, your ministry…how are you helping to build them up, to make them look good, to comfort them when they are down?
What if we all genuinely encourage someone today? Often, when I am struggling, the last thing I feel like doing is giving of myself to someone else. But, maybe that’s their secret after all? To give…to offer…to cheer, with the strength that our Father provides, even amidst the pain.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” And, in verse 14 and 15, “…encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone…always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.”
Thank you cheerleader friends everywhere for lifting up the discouraged! We are joining you on the sidelines today to help cheer each other on to victory.