"Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching."
- Hebrews 10:24-25
No ‘Big Losers’ Here
By Belinda Elliott
CBN.com Senior Producer
CBN.com It’s a new season for one of my favorite shows, NBC’s The Biggest Loser. Each week the contestants participate in challenges, feverishly exercise, and learn principles of good nutrition in an attempt to lose weight and begin a new, healthier lifestyle.
I really like this show because unlike some reality shows, this one isn’t all about winning money. Since the contestants are there to change their lives, it makes for a compelling television program.
Still, it is a game with a nice prize at the end, so it never takes long for the contestants’ competitive natures to come out. Some seasons have become quite cut-throat as the participants battled to stay on the show. But on the latest episode, something very profound happened. It reminded me of something that we should all be striving to do.
This year, one of the show’s contestants, Daniel, is the heaviest person they have ever had on the program. He is only 19 years old, and as the new season of the show started he weighed in at 454 pounds. On this week’s show, the challenge that the contestants faced was to pedal a kayak across a lake, then hike up a steep mountain. There were prizes waiting for the first few people who finished the race.
After struggling to get his kayak across the water, Daniel faced more difficulties as began the steep climb up the mountain. Most of his teammates were well ahead of him, and many had already crossed the finish line. Though he was out of breath, he continued to slowly press forward.
It was after all the other contestants had successfully completed the course that something interesting happened. Daniel was still a good distance away from the finish line, when one by one a few of his competitors walked out to meet him. Though they had already finished the arduous climb, and were still out of breath from it, they circled around him and let him know they would walk the last portion of the course with him.
With their encouragement, Daniel found the strength to keep moving. When he was in sight of the goal, he told them he wanted to finish it on his own. Their support had given him the confidence that he needed to finish the race. At that moment, it wasn’t about winners or losers; it was about a group of people working together to make sure no one got left behind.
As I watched this heartwarming scene play out on the screen, I was reminded that, as Christians, we have the same responsibility to help and encourage the people around us. Galatians 6:2 instructs us to “carry each other’s burdens.” What does that mean?
As I pondered that question, I realized it can mean many things. If you are like me, and you always have good intentions of reaching out to help and encourage people but you just never seem to be able to follow through with any concrete actions to do so…here are a few ideas to get you started.
Offer an encouraging word to someone.
Proverbs 10:11 says, “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life” (NIV). Perhaps you could send an uplifting note to someone you know who is hurting.
Be available just to listen.
Having someone to share our problems with is important, but sometimes we are afraid to let others know when we are struggling. If you sense that someone could use a “sounding board,” invite that person out to lunch or call him or her to see how their week is going.
Been there, done that? Share what you learned.
Often God directs us to people who are dealing with trials that we have already encountered in our own lives. Scripture tells us that the Lord is the God of all comfort who “comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” (2 Corinthians 1:4, NIV). Perhaps you can offer some wisdom from what you have learned when you went through a similar experience.
Look for practical ways to help.
The old adage, “Actions speaks louder than words” is often true. Imagine that you found yourself in their situation. What would be most helpful to you? Perhaps, if they have kids or some other demanding situation at home, you could take over their household duties for a day to give them a break.
Maybe you know friends, neighbors, or even strangers, who are struggling financially. Can you offer them groceries or maybe an anonymous monetary gift? With the recent economic instability and loss of jobs, you probably won’t have to look far to find people who could use a little financial help. We bring God glory when we seek to serve the people around us. Christ said, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me' (Matthew 25:40).
Above all, pray!
One of the most important things we can do for each other is to pray. Scripture tells us, “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:16). I’ve experienced a time when it was only by the prayers of others that I found victory in the trial I was enduring. (You can read that article here.) Never underestimate the power of prayer!
The Bible says that it is the very same power that raised Christ from the dead that is at work in spiritual warfare. Christ not only hears our prayers, but He intercedes for us (Romans 8:34). Make it a priority to pray for others during your daily devotion time.
We’ve all faced obstacles at times that seemed insurmountable. As Christians, we know that God is always with us. Through Him we find the strength and peace we need as we go through trials. But sometimes on our way up the mountain, it’s nice know that a brother or sister in the faith is walking alongside of us as well.
We are all in this adventure of life together. Let’s take each other by the hand and make sure everyone finishes the race strong.
Do you have a relationship with Jesus Christ? Meet Him today and find the peace, freedom, and fulfillment that your heart has been longing for.
Comments? Email me
More articles by Belinda on CBN.com
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