My daughter and I were running the 5K community race for "Old Home Days" in Hancock, NH (a place my wife's family gathers for family reunions). My shirt was wet with perspiration and I was "feeling my age". As we were slowly finishing the race, several of the runners who had already finished came past us shouting, "you can do it", "great race — keep going", and "you're almost there, you can make it". Their words spurred us on!
Certainly on the day of a sports event, advice from a coach or strategy from a trusted advisor can be critical to the outcome. But on game day, encouragement from others is essential. Critiquing comes more easily than encouraging for me. Unfortunately family, colleagues and friends have experienced this tendency of mine.
As a follower of Jesus we can encourage one another to greater confidence in God and to bolder living of our life of faith. Yet critiquing the faith of others comes so easily. Isaiah was thinking of encouragement when he wrote,
"Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, 'Be strong, do not fear; your God will come,.." (Isaiah 35:3,4 NIV)
Who can we encourage this week? They are probably very nearby. Will you join me in "keeping an eye out" for those we can encourage?
Sharing the journey with you,