Thursday, April 9, 2015

The World is Starving

Living Lesson: The World is Starving
By: Christopher Wiles
My boys needed something from me.  As I overheard their argument pushing their tones to get higher pitched, their volumes louder, and their reasoning to falter, I knew they needed something from me.

Our world is starving for something of which you and I have a potentially unlimited supply. You can get it by simply deciding to have it. You can give it away freely to thousands of people and still have plenty to give yourself. In fact, the more you give away, the more you will be surrounded with it. This illusive, yet potentially unlimited substance is simply “an encouraging word.”

So, why is it in such short supply? We live in a society where we love to spread bad news. Too many of us are constantly on the look out for something negative or shocking to talk about. The news media is our worst example. In spite of the fact that we are surrounded with people who are honest, law-abiding citizens, only the criminals get headlines. Many companies and individuals are succeeding and growing despite the temporary setbacks in our economy. Wouldn’t you think this would be newsworthy? Of course it is! Unfortunately, we cannot depend on the media for this positive news. They are too busy seeking out and spreading the worst possible messages they can find. Unless we take immediate action, we will drown in this negative avalanche.

Our families, our friends, our neighbors are starving for positive encouraging words.  I didn't want my children to fall victim to the negative avalanche.  I bounded downstairs with my "serious" face on.  I interrupted the ensuing argument with the directive, "Give me one reason why I shouldn't spank both of you for the way you're treating each other."  After they thought for a second, both boys decided they were wrong and deserved punishment.

I responded with encouragement, sharing with them the care I believe they were capable of, the level of respect I thought they deserved from each other, and with how much I loved them.  They needed no negatives to remind them of the lesson, they only needed encouragement. The hugs and smiles reminded me how powerful encouragement can be. 

"
Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin." - Hebrews 3:12-13