So I called my mom last night and she sounded like she was on the verge of tears. Before I could ask what was wrong she said, “I have your latest giver letter in my hand and I just have to tell you it is great.” She then proceeded to tell me that the first and last lines of the letter were very powerful and moved her (hence the almost tears).
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Yes, this is my mom. Moms put scribbles up on refrigerators so of course she liked your letter. And yes, I’m 41 years old, too old for scribbling. But I can tell you this:
- You’re never too old for some encouragement.
- Even if the source has praised you before, it NEVER gets old.
- Encouragement, even from the most familiar source (like mom) makes you want to get right back out and do something “great” again.
Never, never underestimate the power that your encouragement of your son, daughter, brother, sister, mom, dad, friend or stranger possesses. I’m afraid far too many of my own words are simply neutral or worse, discouraging and critical. It is time to turn the tide.
Consider the case of Barnabas. Acts 4:36 states, “Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement).” The facts about Barnabas in this verse are pretty mundane, his name is Joseph, his job is a Levite and he is from Cyprus. But just think, this guy was so encouraging to be around that the apostles (guys who lived and walked with Jesus for three years) nicknamed him Barnabas, Son of Encouragement. Wow! Wouldn’t you have liked to have had Barnabas for a friend, dad, brother or teacher?
Today, go out of your way to encourage someone. Don’t just do it half-way. Lay it on thick but genuinely. People need this from you.
Oh, by the way, those two lines from the letter that my mom liked you ask…My mom followed up my phone call with a quick e-mail listing the two lines and adding a few more encouraging words. Her words are bold and italicized.
“There are 72 new citizens of heaven as a result of summer camp 2013.” You can adapt that to many situations!
“Thanks to the power of camp, I’d say there is a lot of hope for her through Christ!” If you ever get discouraged at camp, remember that sentence. That will bring you back to center.
You really hit it on the nose with your writing. Keep up the excellent work – both writing and ministering. You’re doing good!
(Enjoyed our talk last night.)
Pick up the phone, write that e-mail. Encourage away.