Hello everyone and welcome to episode 38, where today I’ll be sharing responses from several listeners to a question I posed in my September 19, 2019 weekly email. The question was about the Bible verse from Hebrews 10:24, where the writer of the Book Hebrews says,
Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.
My question was HOW do you do this? HOW does anyone motivate another person to acts of love and good works?
I was thinking if we could hear some real-life examples of this it would give us some practical ideas of what we could do. So listen in to the answers I got to this important question.
So here’s the first response. It comes from a missionary couple living in the Mideast who focus on evangelizing Jewish people all over the world. Here’s how they answered my question of how do you motivate others to acts of love and good works.
“To be with people who are doing these acts of love. The way we do this is by taking teams and demonstrating as they watch and observe - and then encouraging them to do the same. It’s taking the time to make disciples. Jesus did this and we follow His example.Thanks John. Great question.”
I love their intentionality. Modeling. Showing is far more powerful than telling.
Here’s another response, this one from Dick, a missions leader: “If I see something positive that a person has done I try to thank them and be specific about what I am talking about so that they can continue to keep doing what they have just done that is not natural for me I have to work hard on it.”
Because it’s not natural for him, because it’s hard, it’s an example of that transcendent quality of relating that goes beyond what we find comfortable to do. The “T” in T.H.I.S.
It’s also sacrificial for Dick, because it would so much easier to not look for the positive, to not extend himself. It’s the “S” in T.H.I.S. Way to go, Dick.
The next response is from Cindy, who writes: “When I hear spur onto good works it makes me feel like I haven’t done enough. But as I read it, I think it has more to do with me walking in faith and encouraging others to do the same. Mostly other believers. How? Read the scriptures and point to that as we go through difficulties, but also joys. My word and actions has no power to spur anyone on.
“I think when I’m together with two particular girlfriends we bring out scripture that is appropriate for a circumstance in our lives, or talk about it, or talk about Jesus. That is spurring on. I love that.”
Well I love that phrase, “My word and actions has no power to spur anyone on.”
Another email comes from a not-quite-typicval listener: "Well John, 😂 this might not count as acts of good works and love, but recently a friend of mine told me that she believed in God but wasn’t sure she was a Christian, I encouraged her to accompany me to an in school bible study with me once it started up and she agreed! My prayer for her is that she will be led to God so he may do good things through her so she can encourage works of good and love to others around her."
Oh, how this grips my heart. It’s from my granddaughter, Eleanor, who signed the email with “Your favorite grandchild.” She’s only 14. She never calls me “John,” always “Grandpa, and she inserted one of those laughing emoticons with tears of laughter. So she got a kick out this, and so did I. But I love the depth of concern she has for her friend. I love Eleanor’s value system at her young age.
Well here are my takeaways from today’s episode. What I learned today
We can certainly make an impact in this world by being the best version of our self we can be. But - we can make an even greater impact when we help others be the best version of themselves.
Many times people don’t know what they’re capable of, and we give them a great gift when we show them what they could be. All of the examples our listeners shared about motivating others to love and good works are about reinforcing small acts of positive behavior or thinking. It’s not at all about pointing out flaws or correcting people.
It’s about seeing the goodness in them, reinforcing it, and nudging them on to even greater goodness.
There’s a great personal benefit to us when we encourage others to be more than they are at the moment. Because as I’ve said before in previous episodes, when we bring out the best in others we bring out the best in ourselves.
Before I close, here’s the he main take-away from today’s episode, our show in a sentence
We impact the world for good when we encourage others to be the person God created them to be.
Here’s what you can do in response to today’s show
Ask God to show you someone, just one person, that you can “motivate to love and good works.” Look for glimpses of positive behavior or thinking you’d like to reinforce, not for your benefit, but for their’s.
Here’s a second thing you can do. Email me with your thoughts, reactions, or questions about anything that comes up in the podcast. There’s a good chance it will stimulate and encourage others.
Finally, here’s a third thing you can do. If you’re not getting a weekly email from me, usually on a Wednesday or Thursday, I encourage you to sign up for my private email list.
By doing so, you’ll get more curated content from your fellow listeners, with their relationship wisdom, that I often don’t have space to include in my weekly podcast. You can unsubscribe at anytime.
Just go to johncertalic.com/subscribe and enter your name and email address, then click the “Subscribe” button.
Our Relationship Quote of the Week
“Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world.”
~ Robert Kennedy, speaking to a crowd of African-Americans, several hours after the assassination of Martin Luther King, April 4, 1968
April 4, 1968 is connected to the most important day of my life, because it began the most important relationship in my life that continues on to this day. I wrote about it in chapter 7 of my book THEM. And I talked about it in episode 21 of this podcast. I’ll have links to both in the show notes.
Thanks for listening in today. I hope you feel part of us. I hope you are encouraged by hearing what others are doing to
Think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. Hopefully in hearing what others are doing it will encourage you to think of ways you can motivate others to love and good works.
Above all, I trust you appreciate how you were made for this. T-Transcendent relationships, like our friend Dick mentioned earlier in ways that do not come naturally for him. Relationships that H-Honor others Relationships that I - Initiate like Eleanor talked about with inviting her 9th grade friend to a Bible study. And relationships that S - Selflessly serve others like the missionary couple from the Mideast in their ministry to Jews around the world.
You Were Made for T.H.I.S!
That’s all for today. See you next week. Bye for now.
Resources mentioned in today’s show
Subscribe to John’s private email list: johncertalic.com/subscribe
To email John with your comments: email@example.com
THEM - The Richer Life Found in Caring for Others.
Episode 21 - “The Most Important Relationship of All”