Look at what could be rather than be overwhelmed by what is

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I have in the past couple of years become a big baseball fan. I'm still a novice, but I'm really enjoying the boys of summer. Each game is a new day, giving player a chance to improve upon what happened yesterday in the exhausting struggle to win. There is a passage in the book of Colossians that speaks of struggle, like that of an athlete exhausting himself in competition. This struggle focuses on three things that are essential to living a powerful life.

The first essential is encouragement. There is a great struggle for hearts to be encouraged. Being an encouragement to someone you know and even to those you've never met is crucial not only for them but for you. Being an encouragement helps give strength during times when their knees are shaking more than their great-grandma's Jell-O surprise. Encouragement inspires us to look at what could be rather than be overwhelmed by what is. Encouragement is vital and must be worked toward simply because discouragement is too easy.

The second characteristic of the powerful Christian life is being knit together in love. In days of stress, the easiest tendency for families and churches is to stop encouraging each other and start devouring each other. Ironically those that we need the most, those that we value the most, are the ones we most often turn on. The word of instruction is not only to be consciously and intentionally encouraging but to strive to be knit together like a tapestry where each individual strand of string retains its own color, its own density, its own personality but is united with others to create something that, on its own, it could not aspire to.

The last characteristic is to struggle to know Christ. We can exhaust ourselves in trying to be an encouragement. We can wear ourselves sick attempting to retain identity and be united with others. It is vital that we know Christ, coming to experience his power and presence radiating through our lives.

Rob Hurtgen is a husband, father, minister and writer. Read more from him at www.robhurtgen.wordpress.com.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: