Read: Ecclesiastes 4:1-6:12, 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:7, Psalm 47:1-9, Proverbs 22:16
But God, who encourages those who are discouraged, encouraged us by the arrival of Titus.(2 Corinthians 7:6)
Relate: There are a few people I know that everybody just loves being around. Some people just have a gift to always be an encourager. When you get around them you just can’t stay depressed. It isn’t possible. When they speak, it seems to reach deep inside you and pull out the very best. By their very presence you want to be a better person.
I’ve got a few different people who come to mind when thinking about this and I’m sure you can think of a few yourself. It doesn’t have to be the eternal optimist, but they definitely are positive. It might not be every word out of their mouth that is positive… it only seems that way most of the time. You could look at the dirtiest, meanest rotten scoundrel and they would still find something positive. It might be nothing more than, “He sure seems to find loyalty from his mother, doesn’t he?” But it is still something.
React: When God wanted to Paul and his friends, He sent along Titus. Will He ever send us? Will I ever be the one who He uses to encourage someone else? Can He trust me to do so? I seem to have a bit more history stirring up trouble than I do bringing out the best in another. I’ve been told more than once in my past that with my way with words, the way I can manipulate facts, and my love for a good argument means I should have been a lawyer. If so sometimes I think I might have been a better prosecutor than defender. I’m more likely to go on attack than to come to someone’s defense.
I’d like to think I’ve gotten better at this over time but I still have a long way to go. I’m not the arrival most people are hoping for when they are down. Not yet. But God is still working on me. He’s still shaping and changing me. Maybe one day I will have disciplined my mind and my words, maybe one day He will have changed my heart to the point that when I show up others will be truly glad. Maybe one day when someone needs encouragement, God will send me.
God, help me to be an encourager. Help me to be someone who looks into another’s eyes and finds the gold hidden deep inside their soul. Help me to inspire the best in others. Help me to bring with me hugs and smiles everywhere I go. Help me to help others to realize just how deep and rich and true Your love for them is. Help me to love. Help me to be You in my world.