Thursday, August 4th, 2011
Friends To Success: Encouragers
Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble.
Isaiah 35:3 (NAS)
That is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other's faith, both yours and mine.
Romans 1:12 (NAS)
Are you close to someone with a dream of performing? As a family member or friend, you serve as an ally in your loved one's success. I have seen that stardom is nearly impossible for child or teen performers without active encouragers. Adult performers can go it alone, but their road is harder.
God allows dream-haters and skeptics along this path. Obstacles build faith, resilience, ingenuity, courage, and perseverance. His performers must grow strong to thrive in an industry that can chew up the weak. But this kind of adversity requires special encouragement along the way. If you're pursuing a dream, seek out like-minded friends. If you're the encourager, help your loved one build a network of positive people. 'Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing' (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
Encouragers can be found in many places, including church. God will put them in your path, but you must remember to pause and extend a hand of friendship. As my mother, Millie Lewis, said, 'You must be a friend to have a friend.' Make the first move when you feel prompted by God. Your action will change more lives than your own.
Speak friendly words. Smile. Make a conscious choice each day to remain positive and outgoing, no matter the circumstances. 'But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called today' (Hebrews 3:13). Dwelling on negative thoughts allows bitterness to creep in and take root--providing an opening for Satan to bring you down. When you face anger, frustration, or bitterness, cast it to God.
Can we avoid negativity? No. Jesus sends us out into a dark world to be His lights. But He didn't send His disciples alone. He sent them in pairs and teams, and later provided the Holy Spirit of God Himself as the Comforter. Therefore, stay in close fellowship with God, with His Word--and with a community of encouragers.
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Enemies and Friends To Success series.