“A Few Kind Words”

This Weeks Meditation:  “A Few Kind Words”
Read: Romans 1:8-17

The Apostle Paul must have been a great encouragement to the early church.  While challenging them to a deeper faith in Christ he mixed in many uplifting words of encouragement along the way.  In verse 12 of this passage he talks about “being mutually encouraged by each others faith.”

The World Series starts tonight in St. Louis (Go Cards!) so I thought I would use a few baseball examples in this weeks meditation.  A few weeks ago I happened to watch an ESPN documentary on the foul ball that Steve Bartman interfered with back in the 2003 playoffs.

Many Cub fans blamed Bartman for their demise as that game went on and became very hostile towards him. Some were so hostile that he had to be removed from Wrigley Field and go into hiding just because he did something every one of us would have done in reaching to catch a foul ball.

As I watched the documentary I was disheartened to think that we as humans can sometimes act in such ugly ways.  Instead of putting an arm around people we often think it is our job to give them what we think they deserve.  If Paul would have done that with the early church who knows where Christianity would be today.

Our calling as Christians should be to come alongside those who are treated in unloving ways by the world.  Paul did it because he saw that example in Jesus Christ and knew that it was God’s desire for us to share kind words instead of words that hurt, kill, and destroy.

A story is told about Jackie Robinson who was the first black person to play major league baseball. He broke baseball’s color barrier and he faced jeering crowds in almost every stadium his team visited. Even some players would stomp on his feet and kick him.

While playing one day in his home stadium in Brooklyn, he made an error. The fans began to yell ugly things at him and ridicule him. He stood at second base, humiliated, while the fans continued their bombardment. Then, shortstop Pee Wee Reese came over and stood next to him. He put his arm around Jackie Robinson and faced the crowd. The fans grew quiet and Robinson later said that it was that arm around his shoulder that saved his career.

As followers of Jesus Christ it is our calling to be that arm for others.  To show them the same compassion that Jesus has shown us by forgiving us of our sins and saving us from ourselves.  May God encourage us to share an arm and a few kind words with someone this week who needs them.

Make it personal:  Read Psalm 40 this week as a way to be encouraged in your own life.  Then take that encouragement with you to work, school, and wherever you go.  A few kind words this week could save someones life.  You never know!

Blessings in your week,
Glen Rhodes, Minister of Discipling and Community Life
Arthur Mennonite Church