‘Be strong and of good courage…’ Deuteronomy 31:6 NKJV
Over and over in Scripture God says things like, ‘Be strong and of good courage, do not…be afraid…for the Lord…goes with you.’ (Deuteronomy 31:6 NKJV) Why? To bring out the best in us! The history books are full of stories of gifted people whose talents were overlooked until someone believed in them. Einstein was four years old before he could speak. Isaac Newton did poorly in primary school. A newspaper editor fired Walt Disney because he had ‘no good ideas’. Tolstoy dropped out of university. There’s a lesson here: people develop at different rates. To motivate them you must always be on the outlook for hidden capacities. Your words create an environment in which people not only discover their gifts, but also develop and excel in them. John Erskine, Professor of English at Colombia University, was an educator, concert pianist, author of 60 books, president of the Juilliard School of Music, and a popular and witty lecturer. Writing about that remarkable career, his wife Helen attributed it to his ‘defiant optimism’. ‘He was a good teacher,’ she said, ‘because of his own excitement for learning and his trust in the future.’ He would say to her, ‘Let’s tell our young people that the best books are yet to be written; the best paintings have not yet been painted; the best governments are yet to be formed; the best is yet to be done by them.’ Within every human being there is a God-given drive to achieve something. If you tap into that drive and demonstrate that you believe in their future, they’ll do almost anything to live up to your expectations.
SoulFood: Deut 14-17, Matt 13:1-9, Ps 78:32-39, Pr 16:31
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2011