Friday, May 23, 2014

Taking a Bold Risk for the Encouragement of Another

“... you never know when you put your arm around a broken, hurting, damaged believer what you might do for the future of the kingdom of God.”
— Dr. Bob Utley
Restoring the Broken Through the Encouragement of Trust is an article that inspires this one.
If there is one vitalising thing we can do for the one who is at low ebb, the one crushed by the weight of their world, or pulverised by the hailing rain of grotesque situations unending, or cut down by the uncertainties of life, it is to encourage them, which is love, which is a very practical thing done.
The person who is so down on life – down on luck, or fortune, or worse, down on identity, because they have never known a good life – needs that helping hand, not simply a kind word; though we may be in a position to only provide that kind word, which is a humbling case for us. When we can, by the limitation of our circumstances, only do so much for them, when we would want to do much more. They need more. We should pray they get more help.
When we can – and more often than we think, we can – we should give sacrificially to these unfortunates, not out of pity or such loathing, but out of sense of justice. They deserve a second chance; a 62nd chance. Their intent is real before our eyes and all they need is someone to believe in them to the point of doing what the Good Samaritan did – to put ourselves in their position.
That’s all we need to do. That’s all that the Spirit of God is asking us to do.
“What would I want a person blessing me with encouragement to do?”
“What would I not only want them to do, but how could they woo me and wow me with God’s love – to knock me clean off my feet with his love?”
It’s about this time that the Holy Spirit blesses us with that anointing – those goose bumps – to know, for once, we are right in the lap of God’s will, doing God’s actual bidding for this person. Yet, it’s not about us at all. We need to become much less so they can become much more. The more they praise us and glorify us in their attempt to reconcile such generosity of practical encouragement the more we divert it to God for the Kingdom.
“As I have done for you, you also go and do to another. And give the glory to God to be blessed,” we say, with a smile.
We never know what encouragement for God we can be until we hold out a hand to the person down on life. We simply ask, “God, what would I want a person blessing me with encouragement to do?” It always becomes practical.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

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