HomeWord - May 5, 2009

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Applause for a Ten-Year-Old
This devotional was written by Kelly McFadden

Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you.2 Corinthians 13:11 (NLT)

There is nothing quite like a stage performance by young children. You’ve seen it, or at least something like it. Whether it is at your church or a school production or your own little munchkin singing a song for you at your home, the situation usually is the same. Proud parents are perched with cameras waiting to capture a picture of their starlet up on stage. Others in the audience “ooooo,” “ahhhh” and laugh as the children perform. Half of the children know the words and are singing with gusto, while the other half is a mixture of children waving to parents, playing with cords on the stage, talking to their friends or standing like a deer caught in headlights. No matter what the quality of the performance is, at the end comes a thunderous cheer and a standing ovation from the audience.

Have you noticed that it gets a little different when you grow up? The encouragement disappears. Often when we give it our all, there is no one around to give us a pat on the back, let alone give us a standing ovation. In his letter to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul tells us to encourage each other. As Christians it is so important for us to lift up and encourage those around us. It is not always easy to walk through this world as a Christian. Often, decisions Christians make and the beliefs Christians hold are mocked, not valued. Still, there is a simple and tangible action we can all take today to help a fellow Christian: Say a simple word of encouragement. Or perhaps better yet, applaud someone like she or he is a ten-year-old!

GOING DEEPER:

  1. When is a time someone has encouraged you? How did that change your perspective?
  2. Think about those in your life whom you can encourage. Take a moment to send them an email, card or give them a phone call. Let them know that they are doing a good job.

FURTHER READING: 
Psalms 138:1-5; 2 Corinthians 13:11; Ephesians 6:19-24

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