Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.
-1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NRSV)
This Sunday, I was sitting on the front pew and all the kids came forward to sit for the children's message. When asked one of the questions in this time, one little girl raised her hand and gave an excellent answer. But it wasn't the question or the answer that struck me. It wasn't even that this little girl had an answer, a very good one. What struck me was her sister's response. As soon as she said it, her big sister in a matching dress tapped her on the knee and gave her a quick thumbs up and a big smile. I could tell right away that it was important to her to recognize this special moment. I could also tell this was a habit and a joy.
As I sat there, I thought about what is developing in this young girl, the hours her parents have spent teaching her and affirming her in this sort of encouraging behavior and kindness that make this her natural and joyful response to seeing her sister succeed. And then I thought about all our young children and youth and us as adults. Do we practice and affirm those moments in which we share joy, encourage others as they do good things? Do we take every opportunity to be kind and to build one another up? Do we take time to intentionally pass this to our children and those we teach and for whom we set an example?
This week, take note of when someone is succeeding, whether it's doing well or doing good. Encourage them that what they did has merit and is appreciated and needed. Go out of your way to lend that encouragement in word or in a handwritten note, signed or anonymous. I can't guarantee what effect it will have. But I can tell you there's one little girl who is growing up a better person for being encouraged by a sister who takes joy in her. And I know there's someone above who delights in us when we are all we are called and hope to be.
Prayer for Today
Oh Lord, as your Spirit encourages me in my daily life, send me to be an encouragement for others and teaching young believers in word and example. Amen.