Sometimes the smallest words or acts of encouragement can have a highly significant effect.
I’ve coached high school basketball for 30 years and just experienced my most successful season ever in terms of wins and losses. However, one moment stands out more than competing for a state championship. At the end of the school year, I interviewed one of my seniors at the school’s athletics awards ceremony, asking her to reflect on what the experience meant to her as a player. She commented that a turning point in the season for her was when she came to the coaches early in the season, deeply frustrated with her lack of confidence on the court. Apparently, I said something to the effect that if the coaches had the utmost confidence in her, how could she not believe in herself? That was all she needed to hear — and she went on to become a key part of the team.
In one of Paul’s letters to his protege, Timothy, he sought to encourage the young man to hold on when many others around him were giving up. The early Christians faced tremendous adversity from their Jewish friends and family members as well as from the civil authorities, all focused on convincing them to abandon their new faith. Paul knew that only too well because he had been transformed from a persecutor of Christians to a leader in the movement. He understood the pressure Timothy faced, and this allowed him to speak truth into his life with the greatest authority.
How about you? Are there people in your life who could use a shot in the arm when it comes to their faith? Maybe God is waiting for you to be obedient and reach out to a friend or family member who needs a touch from you. Will you listen to the Holy Spirit’s promptings?
God, open my eyes to people around me who are wondering if you’re still there. Give me the words to say or show me the actions to take that will give them the strength to hold on today.
Throughout This Day: Look for opportunities to bless and encourage others.
Photo Credit: Soragrit Wongsa on Unsplash