Our theme for this month: “Take care of each other”
Our Bible verse for today: “In the same way, encourage the young men to be self-controlled in everything. Make yourself an example of good works with integrity and dignity in your teaching.” Titus 2:6-7 CSB
Our thought for today: “Set a good example; encourage those who are discouraged.”
One of the men in our church is the head coach of the boy’s basketball team in one of our local high schools. He’s a very good basketball coach. He has led his teams to multiple winning seasons and district championships. But he’s an even better role model for those boys. He loves them, teaches them valuable life-lessons, and he models character and integrity for them.
The other night his team was playing in the district championship game. The other team was good and they were tough. For four full quarters it was a close-fought battle with the lead changing hands multiple times. Finally, with only 3.4 seconds left, our team was ahead by 2 points and it appeared they would win another district championship. But the opposing coach called a time-out. He gathered his team in a huddle and devised a last-second desperation play – the proverbial “Hail Mary”. When play resumed they quickly passed the ball to their best shooter. He then launched what appeared to be an impossibly long shot towards the basket and it went in for a long three-pointer just as the buzzer sounded and time expired. The other team won the game by only one point.
As you can imagine, the arena erupted in pandemonium. The opposing fans went nuts. But our team and our fans stood in stunned silence, shocked to have had the win snatched from us in the last second like that. But what happened next was a powerful lesson for all of us. As soon as the frenzy started to die down our coach gathered his team, led them over to the other side, and then personally shook the hand and congratulated every player on the opposing team. He then led both teams to gather in a circle at center court as one of our young players led both teams in a prayer.
It was a powerful lesson in how a godly man responds to bitter discouragement, and it was done in a way that encouraged, uplifted, and inspired not just the boys who lost a tough game, but everyone else in the arena as well.
As Christians we have it within us to be a source of encouragement to those who are suffering bitter disappointment. That’s true even when (maybe especially when), we are suffering that bitter disappointment along with them.
Life is hard and it is filled with lots of times of disappointment and discouragement. In such times be sure to be a good example. Handle it with grace, and with character, dignity and integrity. If you do, you will be a source of encouragement for those who are also disappointed and discouraged.