Be an Encourager
I am the head coach of a High School varsity girls basketball team. Some of you are shocked. Although I coached boys basketball for 20 years, I have never coached girls in anything. Honor is the theme for this year's team, drawn from Romans 12:10b, "Outdo one another in showing honor." We honor God, our school, and each other. At the end of every practice, we have "honor time," where the girls point out something about a teammate's attitude, effort, or skill that is honorable. I thought it would take some time to catch on, but I was wrong. I have to cut it off so we can end practice on time.
This taught me two things: it's not that hard to honor others, and we are all drawn to encouragement. I wonder why leaders don't practice honor and encouragement more often. I have had multiple leaders in my life that rarely said anything encouraging to me. Is that characteristic of you? It's not too late to change.
"Outdo one another in showing honor" does not leave room for encouragement in moderation. No one ever complains about too much encouragement. Let it fly in excess. It doesn't cost you anything but failing to encourage costs you the joy of providing hope to someone.
Encouragement is seen, heard, felt, and experienced by the other person.
I ran across an article, "How to encourage yourself when no one else will." That's a sad state of being. Showing honor is demonstrative. Honor is not thinking warm thoughts about someone. That's nice but not helpful. Encouragement is seen, heard, felt, and experienced by the other person. Lavish it upon others. Contrary to a false belief, it won't make them proud.
Honor is rooted in the mercy of God (Romans 12:1). Jesus honored us by leaving Heaven, taking the form of a human, living, dying, resurrecting, and ascending for us. And one day, He will be returning to take us as His bride. We don't deserve the honor He exudes upon us, but that's the point of the gospel.
Your encouragement of others can highlight the gospel. Don't just preach the gospel on Sunday. Preach it every day by encouraging others.
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