I had a chance today to do something for the first time in my life. For the first time ever I participated in the Cooper River Bridge Run in Mt. Pleasant South Carolina. Being the first time, I tried to pay close attention to how everything is handled and run. There was one observation that came to mind that I felt was very obvious. It was clear the people who put the race together understood the value and importance of encouragement. Throughout the entire race there were people on the sidelines yelling and screaming and clapping trying to motivate the runners to the very end. It was interesting to note that the further into the race runners got, the more people there were to cheer them on. Clearly there was an understanding that the longer one races, the more tired they become and the easier it is to just give up and quit. Having people to help and encourage the runners that they were “Almost there” seemed to give the extra push necessary to finish the race.
I believe there is a definite spiritual correlation here. Paul describes the christian life as running a race. Just like in any physical race, there are going to be times where we become tired or worn out and feel it might be easier to just give up or quit. It is during these times that we need encouragement from other Christians to help us to finish the race. We all need encouragement to keep us going and God understands this and that is why He has given us passages like the following to consider and do.
Now that you can see the importance of encouragement, go out and spread some today.