February 2, Sunday

Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought, written by Cami King, was originally posted on November 23, 2014.  Cami now serves as a staff at Remnant Church in Manhattan.

 

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

Proverbs 12:25, 24:16a

Anxiety in a person’s heart weighs him down, but an encouraging word brings him joy . . . for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again

Readers Digest tells the following story: CBS News anchor Dan Rather admits he was always fascinated by the sport of boxing, even though he was never good at it. “In boxing you’re on your own; there’s no place to hide,” he says. “At the end of the match only one boxer has his hand up. That’s it. He has no one to credit or to blame except himself.” Rather, who boxed in high school, says his coach’s greatest goal was to teach his boxers that they absolutely, positively, without question, had to be “get up” fighters. “If you’re in a ring just once in your life—completely on your own—and you get knocked down, but you get back up again, it’s a never-to-be-forgotten experience. Your sense of achievement is distinct and unique. And sometimes the only thing making you get up is someone in your corner yelling.” 

The idea that life is like a boxing match certainly isn’t a new one. We all know the experience of finding ourselves in the ring of life, backed up against the ropes, longing for the sound of the bell. There is often great anxiety in those moments – not knowing if, how, or when we’ll make it through. But just like Dan Rather learned as a high school boxer, sometimes we need a little encouragement in the thick of the fight. We all need people in our corner shouting, “You can do it!” and “Don’t give up!” We need friends who will nurse our wounds and give us water so we’re ready to head back into the fight.

One thing I’ve learned in ministry is that you never know what people are going through. Too often we go through our days exchanging empty greetings like, “Hi, how are ya?” without any real interest in the answer. Truth be told, most of us aren’t even inclined to respond with a sincere answer (we settle for the usual, “Fine, and you?”) even if given the time and attention to do so. But sometimes, if we stop long enough, we can hear a faint S.O.S. and be led by the Spirit to throw out a lifeline. 

There are people around us who are in need of encouragement – brothers and sisters who feel beat by the Enemy and need a reminder that Christ has overcome; people living apart from Christ who are at the end of themselves and need to know of a Savior who loves them. There are those who are wrestling with failures, uncertainty, insecurity, doubt and we can step in and bring the encouragement they need to make it through the day. 

So, who will you encourage today? 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, open my eyes to see those around me in need of encouragement today. Please give me the words to speak that will bring the joy and draw them to You. 

Bible Reading for Today: Romans 15

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