“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29)
I had the blessing and privilege to serve as a “buddy” this spring at Capernaum club, a Young Life Ministry for kids with special needs. I very much admire the amazing people who pour themselves into this ministry, most of them volunteers. They are clearly there for no other reason than to serve the kids, demonstrating the love of Jesus by feeding them, holding them, making them smile and teaching them the Gospel of Grace.
There were so many beautiful characteristics about each of the kids I met. One completely refreshing quality of the kids in this group is that they are so openly and honestly and plainly just…themselves. I could go on and on about each and every one of them, but what I really want to focus on is how they affected me the most. The Capernaum kids really know what it means to encourage and edify!
The kids in this group love to perform and there was always loud cheering and applause for the performer. I remember hearing several exclamations of “good job!” during the lessons when someone answered a question correctly. One night, we played a funny version of “hot potato” and the kids expressed genuine happiness and excitement for the winning team! (pictured below)
The kids at Capernaum club got me thinking that we could all take a cue from them. Let’s be honest. I can be positive and encouraging, but then there are plenty of “if I don’t have anything nice to say…” moments. We have short-tempered moments and tired moments and stressed moments and I’m-just-too-busy moments. However, God calls us to build one another up in scripture and it doesn’t say, “build each other up if you feel like it.”
Since becoming engaged with the contagious, encouraging spirit of my new Capernaum friends and thinking about God’s clear instruction, I’ve been trying to make a conscious effort to be encouraging to others and choose positive words for my family even when I just really don’t feel like it!
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”(I Thessalonians 5:11)