Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. (1 Thess 5:11)
Last Saturday, the young people were studying on a topic: “hot air balloon” (a chapter in the book ‘Habitude-Vol 2 by Tim Elmore). The author mentioned that the way to keep the hot air balloon flying in the sky is to make sure that there’s enough hot air in the balloon.
In our life, the way to keep the hot air (a person’s spirit) up is through encouragement. A person’s level of encouragement could be used up and then deflated to a dangerously low level. This could happen when a person who is constantly being spoken to negatively and receive no positive praises in his/her life. So in a community, it is important that these acts of encouragement should be constantly practice in so that we could continue to be effective and most of all happy.
The question is: How should we do it? Nowadays there are a lot of so-called encouragement and praises done out of an act of manners instead of sincerity from the heart.
I received a personal note from one of the young people during the weekend that said: “Pastor, thank you for taking care of us and the church and making it (the church) the place, a time of the week that I look forward to”. To put it simply, “thank you for making the church a place where we belong”. When I read that I was truly moved and I replied with a sms thanking her for making my ministry as a pastor meaningful.
A short note, written out of sincerity, specifically stated and personal will make any encouragement meaningful and this has definitely pumped in more hot air in my balloon. It may not necessary be something large or big but a gesture of love will be the agenda of the day.
Early last year was a ‘bad year’ for my hot air balloon because I have experienced more deflated moments that left me most of the time discouraged about ministries. A number of times I have asked God to remove me from this place and get me somewhere else where I can be more effective. Yet for reasons only God knows, I am still here. We have looked for pastors to come in, yet again for reasons only God knows, there weren’t any who responded positively. Even for matter such as this, there were rumours that there was actually a pastor candidate but because he was more popular than I do, so I did not venture to ask him to come in because I was afraid that he would be better than I. What rubbish this can be?
Though it looked bad from the outside but the dealings of God in my life is definitely a positive one. I have learned to love, to accept and to forgive much more deeply than before. Instead of harbouring hatred and distrust, in fact I have learned to trust people more. When some would have expected to leave me with a negative remark like: if she is right, then why are people leaving one by one? So she must be wrong all these years? Won’t you feel discourage with such remarks? If I say I don’t, then I am lying. If the persons who made such remarks meant to discredit me then he/she had succeeded.
But what was meant for bad, God took over and make it good. Instead of remaining deflated, God moved so many others to fill up my hot air balloon… people who trusted us for who we are; people who live with us and walk with us and choose to believe that these accusations are just not the whole truth.
So my friends, if you are reading this, do this:
1) If you are the one who are discouraged, choose today to be encouraged by changing your mind to focus on Jesus and on those who love you for who you are and not just for what you have done.
2) AND if you are the one who often complains about your life, your work or even your pastors, start by reverting your tongue and your mind to something positive. I can give you 101% guarantee that God would be pleased if you do so.
So don’t wait, start to fill up one another’s hot air balloon with sincere words of encouragement and start RIGHT NOW!