Lifting up another

Pastoral Messages | April 25, 2024

I like to take note of people who encourage others. That’s because I’m highly aware of being the beneficiary of the same. I can’t calculate the number of people in my life who have encouraged me – people who have gone out of their way to lift me up in small and large ways. What their supportive words or deeds have done for my life is immeasurable.

As far as I’m concerned, encouragement is one of the greatest gifts we can give each other. It’s its own form of love. And when it comes to people of faith, we don’t step down in discouraging times or in the presence of disappointing news. We step up. We do so by encouraging others.

To fill someone else up with courage, which is the only way I can understand the meaning of encouragement, is to help that person feel brave and strong. Even when their circumstances leave them feeling weak, or their outlook on the world flattens their soul, we get to pour in courage. You can do it. You don’t think you can do it, but you can. And here’s how. I’m going to give you a little of my heart. That’s right; I’m going to loan a piece of my heart to you.

You may be familiar with the words of the old song, There is a Balm in Gilead: “Sometimes I feel discouraged and think my work’s in vain. But then the Holy Spirit revives my soul again.” (You have to pronounce again in a funny way to make it rhyme.) If you haven’t spotted the Holy Spirit recently, don’t go looking for a bird. Listen up for encouraging words from those around you. And if you’re not hearing those words, then try your hardest to be those words for other people. You’ll not only be liberating them from potential discouragement; you’ll also be freeing yourself from feeling chewed up by some of the grind of life.

Maya Angelou shared this sentiment with an audience one day: “If I could give you one thought, it would be to lift someone up. Lift a stranger up. Lift her up. I would ask you, mother and father, brother and sister, lovers, mother and daughter, father and son, lift someone. The very idea of lifting someone up will lift you, as well.”

I know you know this to be true. Perhaps we can commit to practicing it this week in a remarkable way.

-Peter W. Marty, senior pastor

7 Comments on “Lifting up another”

  • Becky Morgan

    May 9, 2024 at 5:42 pm

    Congratulations on your upcoming retirement! Will you and Susan be moving somewhere? I hope your retirement years will be a joy for you, as they are for us. And thanks for all your years of service! Becky Morgan

  • Anke Maass

    May 3, 2024 at 5:14 am

    Ditto ladies

  • Sue Grove

    April 26, 2024 at 1:17 pm

    Sometimes a note of encouragement can be a wonderful way to lift someone up. As a bonus you can read it over and over.

  • Scott Kelling

    April 25, 2024 at 7:20 pm

    As you know, the personal timelines of this message for me is superb. THANKYOU!

  • Suzy Schindler

    April 25, 2024 at 6:13 pm

    In the fifteen plus years I’ve known you, you made “hope” and “‘grace” two of my favorite words. Now I’ll have to add “‘encouragement” as another noun that we can make into an action verb! Thank you for your ever present encouraging words and actions.

  • Phyllis Hofer

    April 25, 2024 at 1:56 pm

    Your words, whether written or spoken in a sermon or said in encouragement, always “lift me up” ! Thank you!

    • Gina Bielski

      April 26, 2024 at 11:55 am

      My sentiments exactly, Phyllis! 🙂

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