By Dr. John Ed Mathison
John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries
Some people cause happiness wherever they go – others whenever they go! This was a powerful truth that I heard my father repeat many times. The presence of some people in a room brings negativism and doom – the presence of other people brings hope and excitement.
When Paul wrote to his friends at Corinth, he indicated that he and his companions had come to Macedonia and had little time to rest. He said there was trouble all around them. He said that within their hearts they were full of dread and fear. At this time, God changed the whole situation. Paul said, “The God who cheers those who are discouraged refreshed us by the arrival of Titus. Not only was his presence a joy, but also the news he brought of the wonderful time he had with you . . . I overflowed with joy” (2 Cor. 7:5-7).
Wow! Titus was a game changer! He turned trouble and conflict into joy. His presence changed dread and fear into joy and celebration! Titus was an encourager!
Encouragement is so important. Some people motivate others by kicking them in the seat of the pants. Others motivate by giving a pat on the back. It’s only an 8-inch distance difference – but it can be a huge distance difference in how far it carries the one who receives it!
A little encouragement can change a person’s life. I read about an executive who was often heard praising his assistant for her extraordinary efficiency. People often heard him. A business associate visited his office and began a conversation with this assistant. He said, “Your boss claims you are extremely efficient. What is your secret?”
The lady replied, “It’s not my secret, it’s his. Every time I do something for him no matter how insignificant, he never fails to acknowledge and appreciate it. His thoughtfulness encourages me to take infinite pains with my work.” Encouragement is extremely important and very easy for us to give. It doesn’t cost much, but makes other persons rich in their lives. Each of us has a treasure of kind words which, if given freely and lavishly, can make a difference in somebody else’s life.
A little boy learned about receiving and giving encouragement when he began to discover that he had a lot of bright freckles on his face. He didn’t think he looked very good. One day his elderly grandmother took him to the zoo. All the children were standing in line to get their cheeks painted by a local artist who decorated them with tiger paws.
The little boy got in line, but immediately a little girl in the line said, “you got so many freckles there is no place to paint!” The boy was thoroughly embarrassed and almost started to cry.
His grandmother knelt down next to him and said, “I love your freckles. When I was a little girl I always wanted freckles. Freckles are beautiful.” The boy looked up at his grandmother and said, “Really?” She said, “Yes! You just name me one thing that is prettier than freckles.” The little boy thought for a few minutes, then looked intensely into her eyes and softly whispered, “Wrinkles.”
The word “encouragement” literally means to put courage into. In French, “cour” is the word for heart. Encouragement means you put heart or courage into somebody!
Spend time with Titus. Let Titus teach you and walk with you so that you can imitate him and be a game changer. Like Titus, create happiness wherever you go – not whenever you go!
John Ed’s blog posts appear in For His Glory each week.1
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