It seems nearly everywhere we turn nowadays, someone is working hard at beating someone else down with their words and/or accusations. Anyone who utilizes social media, even in the slightest manner, can quickly find evidence of this.
In fact, the finger pointing has gotten so bad in our world that I swear when I looked in the mirror this morning, my reflection was telling me, “You’re the kind of ugly only a momma could love!” And to top it off, I’m pretty sure I heard the word “Loser” as well. Not a great start to the day!
Right now, I am sitting outside wondering if my day is going to be getting a whole lot worse because there is a very strong foul odor floating through the air. For those wondering, the smell is not coming from me, it is coming from a little fury black and white friend!
Whew, that was a close one! My little friend has passed by and the smell has gone with him or her. I didn’t check to see which one it was. Anyway, as I was saying, we find ourselves living in a moment of time when people feel as though it’s okay to lash out at one another.
Rude comments. Twisted thoughts. Strong opinions. Hatred. Self-righteousness. Lack of self-control. These are the kinds of things which seem to be ruling the world right now. Simply stated, there are a lot of people who feel it is okay to tear others down. This appears to be the one constant theme in today’s world. It truly is a sad statement about the world we currently live in.
More than ever, we need people who are willing to be encouragers instead of discouragers. We especially need adults who are willing to help those who are younger realize one moment of failure does not define them. So many young people have failed to live up to their potential because they gave up their hopes and dreams way too easily.
Sometimes, all it takes is a small setback or a single moment to deter someone’s path. And sometimes, all it takes is a discouraging word. If no one is there to urge them on and encourage them, then it is easy for them just to settle for something much less. Encouragers are one of the greatest needs in our world today. We need them to help combat the negativity, which is oozing over our society like a giant bucket of slime or like the stench of my little fury friend.
Today, I am asking that we think about who we want to be. Someone who spews negativity and discourages others or someone who lifts others up and encourages them to keep going. This choice really comes down to one simple question, “How do we want to be remembered?” Do we want to be remembered as the person whose words left behind a sea of discouragement? Or, do we want to be remembered as the person who helped others keep going in the face of adversity?
My hope is we choose to be an encourager. In fact, my hope is we go out of our way to do so. Every time we open our mouths or type words into our social media accounts, we have a choice to make. We can choose to point fingers, display our anger, belittle others, or we can choose to keep those negative thoughts to ourselves.
We don’t have to share every single thought that comes into our minds. Some of those are best left unsaid. On the other hand, we should go out of our way to share positive remarks and encouraging words whenever possible. The world needs more encouragers, I hope we choose to be one!
Ty Myers is a pastor at Emmanuel UMC and Zion UMC, and a member of the Pickaway County Ministerial Association.