“Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NASB)
I especially liked math in High School. It was an easy subject for me because it made sense to me and I enjoyed solving problems. Whenever I had a tough problem, I would go over it right before bed, and when I woke up, I generally had the solution. At that time of my life, I loved the concept of God, but I didn’t really know Him. I only knew that He loved me.
My grades in math were mostly very good. I realized, however, that I could do better than what I was doing, and I decided to aim for a perfect grade for my next term, a 10/10. I worked hard. I aced all my quizzes and tests, but towards the end of the term, I made a small mistake and ended up with a 9.5/10 on the assignment. Still, even with this grade, I had a 9.9/10 average for the class. I was certain that I would end with a 10/10.
When grades came out, I was excited. Finally my perfect grade! When I opened the report card, however, I was doomed for disappointment. I had a 9.5/10 in math…
It’s quite silly at times what we aim for, but at that time of my life it was important, so I approached my Math teacher about my grade. I was shocked by his response: “No student deserves a 10/10. Only teachers deserve 10/10.”
I was completely discouraged. Being young at that time, I decided that working hard was not worth it. I still earned good grades, but no more 9.5/10.
It’s quite easy to become discouraged. What’s even worse is if we are discouraging others. Our Heavenly Father is not a God who discourages, He is an encourager. Feeling alone? He is with us. Death in the family? He surrounds us with His arms. Lost a job? He will sustain us, and even though a door has been closed, He opens wide open windows of opportunities. He constantly encourages is: “You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry.” Psalm 10:17 (NIV)
The only one who discourages is the evil one: “The accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.” Revelation 12:10c (NIV)
Are we encouragers or discouragers?
As for me and my house, we promote encouragement alone.
(To access the entire “Dragon Tramps or Kingdom Heirs” devotional series, please click here.)