One of the earliest Christian writers wrote to new followers of Jesus saying, “Think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24). In the original language “motivate” means “to incite” or “to enflame” as one might start a fire. But the root of the word is even more revealing, as it means “acid.” What does acid do? It burns. It stings. It’s like liquid flame.
When the writer of Hebrews instructs his readers to motivate and provoke others in the direction of love and good deeds, he is calling for all of us to act as constructive catalysts, as those who will ignite and stir up good in others. He’s giving us creative license to be agitators – but not to cause trouble – we must aspire to be agitators of love and excellence in others, and there’s no better way to do that than with our words.
Think about the people in your life. Who do you need to sabotage with expressions of kindness?
Acts of discouragement are easy and abundant. There’s always someone willing and eager to rain on others’ parades; to kick people in the teeth when they are already down; to criticize, complain, and carp about others’ decisions, performance, or ideas. But there is such a drought of kindness and encouragement, such an absence of inspiration and edification!
So start devising redemptive ways of agitation. Find ways to use your words to motivate others in the direction of love and good deeds. It could change their lives. It could change you. It just might save the world.
Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, pastor, and author of multiple books. You can read more and receive regular e-columns in your inbox at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.