What mental picture comes to your mind when you hear these words, "They keep going and going and going." Do you see this rabbit with sunglasses? Do you hear the drumbeat from the bass drum he's beating on as he moves across your TV screen? Then the people who created those Energizer battery ads have succeeded! Actually, batteries are a pretty boring thing to advertise. But most of us have watched with amusement as this particular brand of batteries keeps that crazy bunny going and going and going.
Well, I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Talking Batteries."
It's good to have a battery that keeps things going. It's also good to be a battery like that.
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Hebrews 3:12-13. "See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily...so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness." It's easy to get discouraged, to have your heart start to doubt, to lose faith, to fall for sin's lies or for a once soft heart to start turning hard.
God proposes a counterattack. "Encourage one another daily." Think about that word encourage, "courage in." You can literally put courage in someone who needs some, to keep going and going and going. When you become an encourager, you become, in essence, a talking battery - a re-energizer of the people in your family, your school, the place you work, your church. And in our high-pressure, "I'm too busy" world, a lot of folks around us are suffering from a severe encouragement deficit. So they're slowing down emotionally. They need a gift you can give them even if you don't have a dollar - encouragement.
Everybody's quick to speak up to tell us when we've missed it, where we've blown it. So you probably don't need to join that chorus of discouraging voices. Why don't you look for the things the people in your world are doing right and tell them often. And when you need to deal with some negatives, always lead with some positives first. Be a praiser, a complimenter, a thanker, a "pitch in and help" person. I wonder if I talked to the people who are around you a lot if that's how they would describe you? Do people feel important after they've been with you or small? Do they get courage and confidence from being around you - or do they lose it? Do they feel believed in or distrusted? Do you make them feel heavier inside or lighter?
This ministry of encouragement is available to every one of us. And it is desperately needed. But it doesn't happen naturally, that's why God is directing us to do it. It requires an adjustment in your outlook - to choose to walk around handing out encouragement. And how often? "Daily." Yesterday's encouragement is sort of like yesterday's manna, it has a short shelf life. Each new day the people around you need encouragement for that day! Batteries recharged for this day's marathon.
You say, "Well, I need some encouragement." The best way to get encouragement is to give it. Today, in your family, your workplace, your relationships - there are people who are dying for encouragement. They're slowing down, running out of emotional energy. But with some help from a human energizer, with some more encouragement from you they can keep - say it with me now - going and going and going.