“Biblical encouragement is not casual, kind word but rather a premeditated resolve to lift the spirit of another person. . . . the verb consider means ‘to perceive clearly . . . understand fully, consider closely.’ “- Max Lucado
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another.”- Hebrews 10: 24-25 (NIV)
Max Lucado concludes Chapter 2 of How Happiness Happens as he exhorts you to look at the Simon Peters of your world in the eye. Then, call forth the Rocky within them through:
1. Listening closely. In Mark 5, a synagogue leader named Jairus approached Jesus with a request. He pleaded with Him to heal his dying daughter. But, as Jesus started that journey, a woman suffering from bleeding for twelve years pushed through the crowd, desperate to touch Jesus’ garment.
Falling at Jesus’ feet and trembling with fear, the woman told Jesus the whole story. And even though Jairus’ daughter lay near death, Jesus stopped what He was doing – and listened. Furthermore, while the miracle restored her health, Max stresses, listening restored her dignity. Above all, Jesus called her daughter. That’s the only time in the gospels Jesus called a woman by that name.
So, Pastor Lucado encourages, ask someone to tell you his/her story. Resist the urge to interrupt or correct. Also, give the rarest of gifts: your full attention.
2. Praising abundantly. Everyone, Max underscores, needs unbridled encouragement. Hence, take on the roll of cheerleader. The Message paraphrases 1 Thessalonians 5:15 this way — “Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out.”
So, Max urges, call a friend or relative. For the next two minutes, encourage and affirm that person. Max concludes: “Call someone ‘Rocky.’ Call forth the Peter from within a Simon. Give the gift God loves to give: the gift of encouragement.”
Today’s question: What Scriptures offer you Biblical encouragement? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “The precious commodity of joy”