Life At Its Best: Elevate people to reach success
As a middle school kid, there's nothing quite like the moment the gym teacher blows the whistle and yells out dreaded orders to "pick your teams." The captains then take their positions, picking the strongest players one-by-one, as you're left hoping you'll be chosen, and hoping that if you are, you'll be chosen to the winning team.
We all want to be part of a winning team, don't we? But the old saying, "You win some, you lose some" is simply a fact of life. That's why we are called to elevate those around us, regardless of whether they seem to be in the midst of a winning or a losing game.
It's what Paul did for Timothy in 2 Timothy 3. Because Timothy's father was not a believer, Paul took him under his wing, coaching him in his life and ministry. But after a few years, Timothy began to lose passion for the church, not realizing all the great things God was doing through him. Still, Paul saw his son-in-the-faith's potential. So he did what we're all called to do for each other - he elevated Timothy to success.
In 2 Timothy 3:14-15, Paul writes to him, "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."
That's what elevating people looks like. It requires two actions - correcting what needs corrected, and then encouraging the person to become all that God's made them capable of becoming.
Anyone can correct, but correction isn't enough. We have to continually convince each other that God will be who he says he will be in our lives. And this is not just to be shallow encouragement - it's to be assurance that they will see God's promises completely fulfilled.
The truth is that no one fails alone, and no one wins alone. We're all a part of each other's successes, and we're all a part of each other's failures. That's why we should continually sharpen each other and encourage each other to be the very best that we can be.
Hebrews 10:23-25 says, "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good work ... encouraging one another, all the more as you see the day drawing near."
Today, before your day progresses any further, I encourage you to stop and think about the relationships in your life. Who has God called you to elevate? Then get in touch with them.
Whether it's a simple text, call, letter, or visit, use your influence to help sharpen their focus and encourage them about their future.
Let them know that, no matter if the game's currently in their favor or not, you're cheering them on. Remind them that God will fulfill his promises in their lives.
Jim Graff is the Senior Pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria. faithfamilyvictoria.com.