Devotional

The Stream of Encouragement

Ready 

“The one who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him."
-John 7:38 

Set 

Have you ever noticed how we tend to judge ourselves based on our intentions? Even if our actions were wrong or the outcome was bad, we still give ourselves the benefit of the doubt. Why is that? I think it is because we know that our intentions were good. Most of the time, we were trying to help others or trying to do the “right thing,” so even if it didn’t turn out right, we still encourage ourselves.

Rarely do we ever judge others like this, though. We tend to judge others based on their actions or the outcome of their actions—especially in sports. We rarely give people the benefit of the doubt when it comes to athletics. We don't bother to put ourselves in their shoes or take the time to consider their intentions. Why? Because it’s hard to do! While we know our own heart, we cannot know the heart of another. So, we don't encourage or believe the best about that person.

Let's consider this truth from Scripture: God judges us based on our hearts, not on the outcome of our actions. He knows and understands our hearts better than we do! If we are really trying to be like Jesus, than we must view and consider others as He did. This means that we need to try and understand people's intentions and refrain from always assuming the worst. We need to give our teammates and coaches the benefit of the doubt. If we do this, then it will become easier to encourage them.

God is continually encouraging you—24/7, 365. His encouragement is like a steady, flowing stream. When you embrace that encouragement, you are able to extend it to others. You are able to have confidence, you are able to succeed, and you then have the power to send out encouragement to others. But all too often we allow our judgments of others—based on the outcomes of their actions—to block that encouragement.

Imagine what your life would look like if you allowed this stream of encouragement from God to flow into your life. Imagine if you extended that stream to others. Imagine if their stream was extended to you. Today, remove the tendency to judge others based on the outcome. Start investigating their intentions and allow the stream of encouragement to flow.  

Go 

1. Are there people on your team or in your sport whom you have neglected to encourage?
2. How can you encourage them today?
3. Other than God, who is encouraging you today?  

Workout 

 Deuteronomy 31:6
Isaiah 41:10
2 Timothy 1:7