1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
I was doing my morning exercises the other day and heard a strange noise outside. It started out faint, but was getting louder. I first thought it was water running, then like some weird engine sound or machine. So, I stopped exercising and went outside and the sound was coming from the sky!?! It got louder and just as the sound became clear, I saw what all the noise was about. It was a flock of geese and they were honking away in the morning sky. It was fun to watch as they formed their famous “V” as they flew by. What is interesting is they keep reforming that “V” as they honk across the sky. Why do they do all this reforming and honking? Researchers have speculated the reason they fly in this “V” is that it helps reduce the wind resistance for those in the lines. However, the goose at the point faces the full wind resistance! A tough job for the leader. Researchers have also speculated that the ‘honking’ they do not only encourages the leaders but also, like a team chant, keeps the flock together and moving on.
There is a good lesson here from one of the wonders of God’s creation, but it’s also clear in the Bible.
Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him-a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Proverbs 15:4 A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
Proverbs 16:24 Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
Proverbs 25:11 A word fitly (aptly, fittingly) spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
Yes, our words have a great effect on others. And most certainly on those who lead around us. We, unfortunately, live in a day when there is a constant flow of negative actions, thoughts, and words towards those who lead; be it in government, in law enforcement, in business, in education, in church, even at home. Absolutely, there needs to be accountability, and sure, leaders make mistakes and it happens that there are a few leaders who can make selfish, hurtful, and unwise decisions. But the majority of leaders are amazing and just like the geese take the full resistance of forward movement. That forward movement many times is for our benefit and to ease our load.
We are in a time when many leaders are dealing with all the changes and restrictions and pivoting to manage during this pandemic and social unrest. These leaders could use a few ‘shout-outs’ or honks of inspiration and backing. These leaders could use some words ‘fitly’ spoken: words of encouragement, words of appreciation, words of affirmation. These kinds of words give leaders energy, hope, and even helps keep them leading well. Who are leaders you know in your community you could bless with an encouraging ‘honk’? Let’s give a shout out to those who lead. Send a note of appreciation, say some kinds words, choose not to spread negativity, and look for ways to bless those leaders around you. You could make and shape someone’s day with your gracious words. Our leaders could really use some ‘honks’ of support.
Church can be a great source of learning how to love and encourage others. One of the main things Jesus taught was to love our neighbors. Leaders are part of every neighborhood. Either online or meeting outside, churches are still open and gathering. If you don’t already have a church you attend, we would love to invite you to attend Neighborhood Church either in-person on our patio or online. Our webpage has information on how to connect with us. Also, here is the link to our live-streaming services (live.neighborhoodchurch.com) As well, if you would like to view any of our past worship gatherings visit our YouTube channel.