Everyone wants to be loved. Everyone wants to feel respected and affirmed. Studies show that encouraging someone throughout the day helps them feel more confident, satisfied, appreciated and motivated.
As we begin 2023, I thought it was a good opportunity to reflect on the previous year, and encourage a brother. My goal was for each person to recognize the things that were done well in 2022, then, as a group, pray for the good things that God will do in 2023.
I passed out papers and each coach read one of the following passages:
GALATIANS 6:2 (SHARE BURDENS)
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
JOHN 15:12-13 (LOVE EACH OTHER)
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
EPHESIANS 4:29 (NO GOSSIP)
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
COLLOSIANS 3:13-15 (FORGIVE)
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
JAMES 4:10 (STAY HUMBLE)
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (BE THANKFUL)
“16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 THESSALONIANS 5:11 (ENCOURAGE)
“11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
1 THESSALONIANS 5:12-13 (ACHKNOWLEDGE)
“12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.
Sure, these verses are directed towards believers, however, I believe all these actions are transferable into the secular work place. Imagine if each person at your place of employment exhibited these characteristics and qualities…to encourage, to love, to forgive, be thankful, share each other’s burdens, to not gossip, and do all these things with humility! That is a work environment I want to be a part of!
1 Thessalonians reminds us to acknowledge those who work hard around you. Therefore, we took time as a coaching staff to encourage everyone in the room. Each coach picked one person in the room and acknowledged something good about them. Talk about making a brother feel more confident, satisfied, appreciated, and motivated! These words of encouragement and kindness were gratifying to us all. Personally, I was uplifted when my friend, Coach Steve Pearl thanked me for leading them in the Word.
As we closed out that time I wanted to pray for the new year. I reminded our coaches of the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 with just a few fish and a few loaves of bread. It was really closer to 25,000 people (5,000 not including women and children). The Word says in Matthew…
…Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people.
As the disciples passed the baskets around, the bread began to multiply. Amazing, right? I wanted them to notice Jesus gave thanks BEFORE the miracle took place. Often, we only want to give God thanks AFTER something good happens. I challenged our coaches in the room to give thanks BEFORE they saw the good that God is going to do in their life, this season, and throughout this year. We then closed our session with prayer.
As you begin the new year, thank God for the good He did in 2022. Then, thank God for the good He will do in 2023 in you, through you and around you, even if you can’t see it yet.
Blessings to you in 2023.