Day 27 #liftupforlent
William Barclay, one of the world’s most prolific Christian commentators, has said, “One of the highest of human duties is the duty of encouragement…It is easy to laugh at [people’s] ideals; it is easy to pour cold water on their enthusiasm; it is easy to discourage others. The world is full of discouragers. We have a Christian duty to encourage one another. Many a time a word of praise or thanks or appreciation or cheer has kept a [person] on [his/her]feet. Blessed is the [one] who speaks such a word.” (I have to imagine if Barclay were alive today, he would have used inclusive language.)
The world is indeed full of discouragers, and all too often the discouraging is veiled in “Christian kindness.”
“Sure your life is in the toilet, but clearly this is all part of God’s plan for you.”
“God is just testing you with all these trials.”
“We all have God-given talents, this is just not one of yours.”
“You really shouldn’t be so glum. If you were a real Christian, your joy would be found in the Lord.”
One of the reasons I believe so strongly in Jesus is that if he weren’t for real, some of his followers would have chased everyone away ages ago.
So in our daily prayers, let us be present to one of our highest duties as Christians–to encourage one another. Pray that we will be present enough to lift up rather than put down, to spur on rather than shut down and to inspire others to carry on instead of just laying down.