I was told one time in a Bible study that I was a prophet. Not someone who predicted the future and not someone who preached. But the people who labeled me a prophet did so because I gave them another way of looking at a situation or issue. I spoke or wrote something that caused their brain to see an issue from another viewpoint. I showed them another perspective for example.
That was supposed to be my “gift”. Something that I could share with others that would make a positive impact on their lives. Have you ever heard the scripture that says that a prophet is not accepted in his hometown? Ha! I do not want to be a prophet. I want to be an encourager.
Do you know anyone that is an encourager? I am blessed to know a few. Those people always seem to have something positive to say to encourage me and others. They can look at my worse image and say something encouraging. Not a gushy lie about how much they love it but something that’s generic but nice. Their words are said, not so much with loving words but in a loving way.
They talk to me (and others) as though they were cheering us on as we were bringing up the last place in a race. “Hey! You did it! You finished.” They say it as though it was the very best thing ever. Smiling, clapping, giving you a standing ovation when you cross that finish line hours after the other runners have gone home!
That’s the person I want to be. The one cheering you on. The encourager.
The challenges that I have been working on have given me a chance to practice being an encourager as well as receiving encouragement. A camaraderie grows among those of us who are participating. There is a discussion in our forum just for these challenges and as we share our struggles we realize that there are several issues that are “challenging” us.
We need to be disciplined and motivated to create daily but time management is also an issue for some, especially for those who work full time or have small children. However, at the end of the day we can find replies to our issues in that forum or comments under our images that are both supportive and encouraging.
I am given the chance every day to comment under many participants’ images that they created specifically for that day. Sometimes I know that it was a struggle for that artist (an illness, pressures at work, etc.) to create or finish their work because I’ve read about it in our discussions. Sometimes I don’t really care for their image. But every day I have been given many chances to encourage those artists to keep creating. To be present and in the race. To be proud of their accomplishment of finishing the task at hand.
I would like to think that I’m getting better at being an encourager. But I believe that the important thing is that I’m trying. I’m aware that my words can encourage and support and I’m looking for words that do just that. I am learning that we can be encouragers even if that’s not “our gift”.
After all, can’t we have more than one gift?
I sure think so!