Thessalonians 5:11 – “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as you are doing.”

I’ve always considered myself a realist.  I’m not a pessimist or an optimist, not negative but not blindly positive either.  I’d say I’m just a guy who tries to use facts rather than opinion to evaluate and then dole out advice accordingly.

But after hearing the last two weeks of sermons, I think sometimes, I may actually be a negative influence.

I’m sure my “factual” nature has been discouraging at some point.  When the only thing someone needed was encouragement, I probably gave them an evaluation.  When their heart needed a “good job”, I gave it a few “better” ideas.  Or maybe I acted like a “fixer” when the only thing they really needed was a supportive friend.  I wouldn’t even be surprised if I (not on purpose but…) killed someone’s confidence, paralyzed their motivation, or maybe even crushed their amazing plan for God… all because I was more focused on what I thought rather than encouraging what they thought.

I don’t want to be that guy.  I want to be someone who people can come to when they have an idea. Someone who will energizing them and raise their confidence to an all-time high. Not because what they have is perfect but because they can see I’m on their side, I’m on their team.  I want them to find strength in the fact that they have a friend who believes in them wholeheartedly.  

I want to be that person who encourages and builds up, not someone who holds people back.

God, help me encourage others and build them up. Help me to energize people for your glory and forgive me if I’ve discouraged someone… especially if it kept them from doing something amazing for you.

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Central Christian Church | Mount Vernon, Illinois