And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works. — Hebrews 10:24
Coach Peacock’s team had just won a state championship. They were celebrating in the locker room, and Coach was hugging his players right and left. As the congratulations continued, the coach noticed one player in particular sitting alone on a bench, watching him. Coach Peacock knew that the young man’s mother and father were divorced, that his dad was also an alcoholic who never attended any of his son’s games. So he walked over to the player and asked if he was okay. The young man responded, “Yes, Coach, but I was just wondering. Could I have another hug?”
That experience was a milestone in Coach Peacock’s life, so much so that he began a campaign to be a “team of huggers.” He started with the coaching staff. Some were resistant and responded half-heartedly, but Coach Peacock wouldn’t let them get away with a wimpy hug. He accepted nothing less than a full-blown “bear hug.” Soon the coaches began dispensing hugs to their players, and Coach Peacock found that hugs were a tremendous and effective form of encouragement.
Most of us would agree that hugs encourage us and remind us that someone cares. Of course, there are many ways to encourage others. Hebrews 10:24 says that we are to consider how to stimulate and encourage one another to good deeds. Why? Because Jesus, the Son of God, willingly took on all of our discouragement on the cross, so that we might experience the embrace of God’s love. Because of that truth, let’s consider all the ways we might encourage our fellow coaches, teachers, players, family members, and neighbors.
1. In what ways have others encouraged you?
2. How have coaches encouraged you?
3. What are some specific ways you could encourage your players or other coaches?
Extra Reading: Acts 15:30–32; Romans 15:4–6; Hebrews 3:12–13
God, How great that You would invite me to experience the embrace of Your love. May Your love always lead me as I consider how to encourage others for Your glory, Amen.