Want More Light?

We debriefed the Florida tour with friends a few evenings back and someone asked an interesting question.

“How do you keep from getting dragged down by all the pain and need you encounter, especially in the groups you spoke to on this trip?”

Good question, and as usual I didn’t have an immediate response. I found myself wondering whether I’m really hearing the folks in the audience. Am I just doing drive-by speaking, tossing out some nice words and moving on without truly engaging with individuals and their difficult stories?

Upon further review, as football officials say when they’ve had time to reflect on a replay, I think there’s something deeper happening. Rather than being depleted by the groups we meet, Becky and I usually find ourselves energized as we leave.

Here’s how I believe that dynamic works.

When I talk about adversity I describe courage as the willingness to move forward, face challenges, and do what’s right in the face of fear. Then I discuss the word encourage as giving someone else that ability. In other words, when you encourage someone you literally give them courage. Encourage means giving away courage.

But a funny thing happens when you give away courage. You find yourself walking beside the other person, helping them face their fear and climb their mountain. And when you help someone through that process, somehow you get better at it yourself.

Courage is like love—you can’t really give it away. The more you love sacrificially, the more your heart’s filled with love. And the more you authentically encourage another, the more you’re able to act courageously.

That doesn’t mean it’s easy, but “hard” isn’t the same as “empty.”

So if I speak to a group with love, I leave feeling loved. If I encourage them to face their fears and follow their dreams, I leave feeling encouraged. It’s the way God’s economy works.

If you shine a light into a dark place, everyone, including you, sees a bit more clearly.

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Copyright 2008-2013 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of: Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

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