We all want to be on the receiving end of encouragement.
Oh my, isn’t that the truth?
But how much encouragement do we give?
In the Philemon story, discouraging others was a crime.
If I were to tell the truth, I’d have to say that I would be on the receiving end of justice more often than not for my lack of encouragement to others. Chances are strong that I’ve used words or body language toward someone else that they interpreted as my being a discouragement.
In some of the diversity and multiculturalism courses I teach, I share a story I heard many years back. The student, who was the only member of a particular background in a class, felt offense about something that had been said about people of that background. When she brought the issue to the faculty member, he tried to say that the other student didn’t mean anything by it. The student who had felt the offense replied with something like, ‘It isn’t how [the other student] meant it, it’s how it made me feel’.
We don’t always mean to offend someone (and sometimes we do), but our words or actions might come across to them.
Yeah. That …