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Jul 24, 2024

The fifteen contestants showed up at ABC studios at 6:30 a.m. We were escorted to the Green Room where we each waited for our turn to try to win $1,000,000.

In the Green Room, we were left with our thoughts and each other. Small talk ensued, and strangers became friends. One by one, the contestants left the Green Room and headed to the studio. We'd all shout, "Good luck!", (and we meant it).

My turn came around 2:30 p.m. The remaining contestants said, "You've got this!", "Go out there and win!", "Good luck!" As I was being escorted to the studio, the ABC page said, "Just know the audience is cheering you on." Before the recording started, Meredith Viera said, "Okay, Scottie, all of these people want you to win! So, relax and have fun."

These wonderful nuggets of encouragement were more valuable to me than the money I won on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.”

Life is certainly not a game show. However, we are presented with stressors every day that may cause a wobble in our confidence or make us question our decisions. The challenges we face can sometimes be overwhelming.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Paul’s call to action (not a simple suggestion) is “to encourage one another and build each other up.” Encouragement is more than just offering kind words. It’s about fostering hope, inspiring faith, and building up others on their journey. It’s a deliberate act of kindness and support that strengthens the heart and soul. Encouragement can come in many forms: words, deeds, or a simple presence. It plays a crucial role in the lives of those around us.

In Hebrews 10:24-25, we read, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the day approaching.” Community is vital to our faith journey. In a world where we can easily become isolated, regular communion with others provides support and a sense of belonging.

Encouragement has a ripple effect. When we encourage someone, it often inspires them to pass that encouragement on to others. This chain reaction creates a community of support and love, where everyone is built up and strengthened. Spreading positivity and support are small acts of encouragement that can lead to significant transformations.

How often have you heard someone say, “I will keep you in my prayers”? That’s a form of encouragement.

When someone says, “I’m so happy to see you,” or “How kind of you,” or any number of other affirming words. Encouragement.

Christ Church is wonderful at reaching out to each other and to the larger community through acts of service. Encouragement.

Offering to listen to someone without judgement. Yes, encouragement.

As you progress through the day, imagine all the people who are pulling for you. Let someone know you're pulling for them too. You’ve got this!