The signal was given to start the race and a mass of humanity began moving forward. Pretty soon Sheri and I were clipping along at a good pace. It’s amazing how adrenalin kicks in and enables you to do more than you ordinarily could. But pretty soon the adrenalin dissipates and that’s when something else sets in - PAIN!
Fortunately, the streets were lined with spectators who were there to see the parade that would follow the 5K. That’s when I experienced the power of encouragement. About the time I began to wonder what had possessed me to subject myself to this torture and was seriously considering the brain transplant, I heard people shouting motivating words like: “Great job!” “Doing good!” “Keep it up!” “You can do it!” From starting line to finishing line they were there cheering us on. What a difference they made. I actually beat my old time by 2:23.
If encouragement is such a powerful thing for someone running a 5K, think what it can do for those running the race of faith. Life can be discouraging enough at times, and the devil is right there to fan that flame. Let’s not add to it.
Instead, let’s be quick to encourage others. Rather than tearing others down with our words, let’s build them up. Rather than criticizing a fallen runner, let’s lend a hand to help them up. Look for a reason to compliment. Search for motivating words. Overlook the negatives and find something good to say.
Who knows? Maybe your encouraging words will be the very thing that keeps someone in the race.
Pastor Todd Weston