Friday, December 26, 2014

Biweekly Bits #24: Encourage others

After writing 26 bits, I realized that there is so much I could elaborate on with each of my bits. So I decided to turn them into a biweekly (i.e. fortnightly) series, for the next year.

Encourage others. My senior year of college, I was a tutor for students in 100-level biology and chemistry. All of them were students of color, many of them were first-generation students as well, and all were science or pre-health majors, and were struggling in the intro science classes that they were required to take. But we worked hard, and they had practice problems and analogies (and the occasional marker thrown at them for saying foolishness). But I didn't realize until much later that the greatest thing I did for them was that I believed that they could do this whole college thing. One of them said to me one day, "Shanique, sometimes I think you believe in us more than we believe in ourselves." My reply to her was, "Well, someone has to believe in you." They all have either graduated from college, or will graduate this academic year.

Perhaps the biggest, and possibly one of the most overlooked feature of this Christian walk is community. We were never meant to serve Jesus alone. We supposed to be in loving community with each other, bearing one another's burdens, encouraging each other.

In fact, encouragement is one of our biggest motivators to keep walking, even as the road gets tough. We are encouraged by a God who is always faithful. We are encouraged by a Saviour who loved us and conquered death so that we might have abundant life. We are encouraged by a Holy Spirit who comforts us. In the same way, we are encouraged by other men and women, old and young who are walking this walk with us.

Having been encouraged, we should now look to encourage others, not just in words of affirmation and expressions of how much we believe in them, but also in the time we take to work with them to help them achieve their dreams and goals. It is good to say, "I believe that you can do it", but is it not better to walk with you, as you do?

Let us not be afraid to take the risk of investing in others, no matter who they may be. Not because they can give us something in return, but as a manifestation of the Light that fills us and leads us. Encouraging others, both in what we say and what we do, is part of the responsibility that we have in building others up. If we say as is said in 1 John 4, that we love because God first loved us, then what better way to show how we love than with a love that does? With a love that encourages? With a love that builds?

Be blessed and shine in encouragement!

No comments:

Post a Comment

A person finds joy in giving an apt reply—
and how good is a timely word! -Prov 15:23