Life At Its Best: Elevate people to reach success
By Jim Graff
President John F. Kennedy once said, "Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan." Isn't that the truth? When we succeed, it seems that everyone around us wants to claim a part of that success. But when we fail, not many of those same people are willing to admit that maybe they could've helped more. That's why God encourages us to develop relationships with those who'll elevate us in the midst of our weakness. As we focus on finding those friends, let's remember to be one, too.
So, what kind of person helps to elevate others into God's success? One of our greatest examples is found in the Apostle Paul. As a mentor to a young preacher named Timothy, Paul had to continually encourage his spiritual son when life overwhelmed him. In 2 Timothy 3:14-15, Paul advises Timothy to ".continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus."
In other words, Paul was saying, "Timothy, life is tough. Just keep pressing on. Remember what you've learned. Remember how you saw God work in my own life, and know that He'll do the same for you." Notice, Paul didn't just correct Timothy. Why? Because that's not all Timothy needed. He needed someone to convince Him that God was who he claimed to be in his life. He needed to remind him that when life gets difficult, that's when you have to stay focused on the call of God.
It's the same for us. We won't help our loved ones by simply correcting them. We've also got to assure them that they can be all that God calls them to be. It's easy to grow negative, but the problem with constant negativity is that it causes discouragement and disappointment to become a way of life. It's only through remaining positive and reminding each other of God's ability to work in any situation that we stand in awe of what our lives can become.
I don't know about you, but I don't want to be among those who drop off the radar upon discovering others' flaws. I want to stand by their side as they work to overcome them. Because by creating an environment of encouragement and allowing them room to grow, I know I'll get to experience the incredible joy of watching them overcome every dark hour and become everything God has called them to be. Don't you want the same?
Then like Paul, let's capture the hearts of our loved ones with a desire to obey God, convincing them that He'll be who says He'll be in their life. Then let's never let them quit pursuing God's will.
Remember, the enemy can't make more happen to them than God can make happen for them.
Jim Graff is the senior pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria. www.faithfamilyvictoria.com.