Encouragement: Get Your Spurs On

Encouragement: Get Your Spurs On

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” (Hebrews 10:24 NIV)

Samson was uncooperative. He trotted nicely, but when I called for a canter, he just wasn’t interested. Megan, my awesome riding instructor, handed me a short whip and told me to hold it on his shoulder. No need to flick him, just let him know it was there. As we rounded the end of the arena, I gripped the riding whip, letting it rest on his right shoulder. I called for a canter—and Samson immediately responded.

The stinker.

A cowboy wears spurs is to “encourage” his horse to do something he’s not particularly interested in doing. The author of Hebrews tells us to do the same for each other.

Some versions of Scripture read this way, “provoke.” When my kids provoke each other, they’re looking for a response. The author of Hebrews is looking for one too.

And there are two ways to get one.

The Whip

When Samson felt the whip on his shoulder, he knew I meant business. Though I didn’t use it, the threat of force rode his shoulder—and he chose to avoid it. He responded with the canter I desired. Too many times I’ve taken the hard line in “encouraging” my kids to do something they should.

There is another way.

The Whoop

As this blog posts, I’m teaching swimming lessons. In Texas, swimming is a needed life skill, but frankly, most three to five-year-olds would rather not do the work to master it. So, moms go into cheerleader mode. And this is good.

Encouragement and reward help us get through the hard spots. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a time for firmness and consequences. But if we can get there with sweetness, let’s do it.

So, provoke, spur on, encourage one another toward love and good deeds. Push someone’s positive buttons and lead them to good choices today.

Questions:

When you are provoked, do you respond? How?

What’s the best way to talk you into something?

Who can you spur on and how?

Family Application:

Talk out love and good deeds. Set specific examples of how you would like to see love in your home. Discuss possible good deeds. How will you encourage or spur on your family to make these a reality? (Notes of encouragement? Rewards? Opportunities for family fun?)

Tweetables:

A cowboy wears spurs to “encourage” his horse. The author of Hebrews tells us to do the same for each other. Click to tweet.

Encouragement and reward help us get through the hard spots. Click to tweet.

There’s a time for firmness and consequences, but if we can get there with sweetness, let’s do it. Click to tweet.

Push someone’s positive buttons and lead them to good choices today. Click to tweet.

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