I was a cheerleader once...for a third-grade pee-wee football team forty-plus years ago. So much has changed since then. Cheerleading has become a competitive sport for which I would never have qualified as a youth. Never pretty, fit, or athletic enough, I would have been sidelined for sure!
Everyone needs cheerleaders, and in God's kingdom we are all meant to be. Even though we may not call it cheerleading we are commanded to "encourage one another" (Hebrews 3:11, 1 Thessalonians 5:11). What are some ways you have been encouraged by others? How did it make you feel?
One of the mock cheers I remember hearing as a child went like this: "Rah Rah Ree...kick 'em in the knee. Rah Rah Rass...kick 'em in the...other knee!" Sadly many of us do tend to kick others when they're down rather than encourage them. Instead of affirming the positive things others do to make a difference, we assume they have it all together and really don't need our help. How much could we maximize their positive impact if we actually joined them in the work they do by praying for them or rolling up our sleeves to work beside them?
Cheer may be a competitive sport but encouraging others is a command, and it is something we all can do without special training or expensive uniforms. Often all it takes is a kind word, an offer to lend a hand, or the willingness to pray for and support organizations and individuals who are passionate about making a difference.
It has been my experience that those who offer encouragement often receive encouragement. If you need a cheerleader, try being one in someone else's life. At the end of the day, when you stand before the Lord, he'll be cheering you on with these words: "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!" (Matthew 25:21, NIV).
Copyright © 2014 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved. www.deedeewike.com
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