As Christians, we’re blessed to be a blessing. I remember when I moved to Oklahoma as a teenager, I tried out for the varsity basketball team since I had played JV throughout my 9th and 10th grade years. However, the day of the tryouts, they paired us off into two teams, and I ended up making a big mistake by letting my team’s ball go out of bounds instead of attempting to save it. I was new in town and I was already nervous, but to make matters worse, when I fumbled, the team captain totally “dressed me down” over my gaffe, and I felt like I was about six inches tall. For weeks following, I walked around school embarrassed, and I kept my head held low. Though there were other ways he might have handled the situation, this uninspiring leader caused me to believe I was a burden, and to this day, I can’t think of a worse feeling. Thankfully, there is a counter to his type in the world, and they are known as encouragers. When I was on a missionary trip years later, I overheard someone in another room say, “Gosh, I’m so glad Bobby is here. If he wasn’t here, we’d be in trouble.” And let me tell you, his affirmation had as great a positive impact on me as the basketball team captain’s rebuke had negative. By speaking life over my ministry, he proved again the power that words have to impart value, hope, and joy to human souls.
My friend, as you lean into God’s goodness this year, do so with the confident assurance that He will use you to make a difference in the daily lives of all kinds of people. The essence of divine goodness springs forth from within you, and with an affirming word or a heartfelt compliment, you’re equipped to be a source of refreshing to everyone you meet. In fact, there’s no greater blessing in the world than bringing joy and encouragement to those who cross your path. As you abide in God’s presence and allow His Spirit to flow through you, you’ll uplift many and inherit the richest and most abundant existence available on earth!