The Buddy Bench
"Walking through my son's schoolyard...I noticed a bench on the pavement with bright paint around it. I asked my son, 'is that the only place to sit around here? lol' And he said, 'no, that's the buddy bench! When someone feels lonely or they have no one to play with, they sit there and people ask them to play!' Wow! Amazing! I then told him how awesome it is and asked him if he has ever used it. He said, 'yeah, when I was new I sat there and someone came to me and asked me to play. I felt happy. And now when I see kids on it I ask them to play with me...we all do!' What a fabulous idea for a school yard!" This was a post from Facebook.
Everyone needs to be encouraged at one point or another. Unfortunately, most adults do not want to admit when they need encouragement. We could all use a buddy bench. As the church, we should always be looking for someone sitting on the buddy bench! Galatians 6: 10, "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers." We are told to encourage others. Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:11, "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up..." When Jesus told us to love others that included encouraging others. Romans 12: 7, "if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully."
The Thessalonian Christians faced struggles and an uncertain future. Paul wrote, encouraging them of their faith and hope in Jesus. With this encouragement, preparing them for Jesus' return, they could keep encouraging and building other's up. 2 Peter 3: 18, "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen." Paul was encouraging the church so they could encourage other's about Jesus coming back. Hebrews 10: 24-25, "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." We, as Christians, still need Christians to encourage us to be faithful to the Lord.
Paul wrote to the people of Thessalonica after having been flogged, thrown into prison and forced out of Thessalonica. When he could have been discouraged by persecution, emotional and physical wounds, he was encouraging Thessalonian believers. He modeled what he wanted them to offer others. He modeled for us also. We are to lift someone else - no matter what is going on in our life. When we do that we can trust that God will encourage us. Proverbs 11: 25, "...whoever refreshes others will be refreshed."
"When you encourage others, you, in the process, are encouraged because you're making a commitment and difference in that person's life. Encouragement really does make a difference." Zig Ziglar
Who can you encourage today?