Share Your Experiences
By Rick Warren
“Encourage one another and help one another” (1 Thessalonians 5:11a GNT).
The Bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:11a, “Encourage one another and help one another” (GNT). God wants you to build up, motivate, and inspire other people. How do you do that? You can do it three ways: You can give people hope, you can help people overcome their fears, and you can help people break down barriers.
First, you can give people hope. You show that you’ve been through the same thing, and you reassure them that they’ll be able to get through it, too. You show through your story that it can be done.
When you share your experiences with other people, you help take away their fears. It’s kind of like riding a roller coaster. When you go to an amusement park and you’ve never been on one of those huge roller coasters, you’re kind of thinking, “Is this a smart decision?” Then, the person in front of you turns around and says, “This is a great ride. I’ve been on it five times.” So you’re thinking, “Okay, I’m going to live. He’s done it five times. It’s got to be okay.” Hearing from someone who’s already gone through it is an inspiration. It’s motivational.
How many first-time parents feel scared to death, unprepared, and inadequate? All of them! How grateful they are for somebody who comes along and says, “Babies cry. It’s okay. This is normal.” The fears that they’re experiencing don’t seem so daunting when others share with them their experiences and how they came through them. It gives them hope!
You also help people break through barriers when you motivate them with your own experience. In 1954, Roger Bannister was the first man to run a four-minute mile. Before he did it, everybody said it was impossible — no one could run that fast. Yet within a year or so after Bannister broke that barrier, a dozen other guys also had passed the four-minute mark. All of a sudden, people realized it wasn’t impossible, and it gave them hope that they could do it, too.
You have experiences in your life that could be barrier-busting, inspirational, and motivational to other people — but only if you’re willing to share them. This is one way you can encourage others and give them hope.
Talk It Over
What does this statement mean to you: “The most powerful way to say anything is the most personal way to say it”?
What painful or difficult experiences from your past could help others learn and give them hope?
How are you praying for God to give you opportunities to share?
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This devotional © 2017 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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