2 THESSALONIANS 1:4
“therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure.”
Notice the origin of this boasting. It’s not the Thessalonians boasting about themselves. It’s Paul and his companions boasting about them. Self-boasting is really just arrogance. But when someone else boasts about you, that is due to your character or reputation. If you are truly worthy of this boasting, you find it hard to accept, but you should.
Look at what Paul was boasting about. He was boasting about their perseverance and faith in the midst of persecutions and afflictions. If you look back at 1 Thessalonians 2-3, Paul recounts to the Thessalonians his suffering and afflictions. Now he is boasting about theirs. I wonder who they learned that from?
Teach your children to brag on others, not themselves. Help them see the gifts others have or their abilities to “bear up under” and let them know it. When your little Johnny has a friend who perseveres on the ballfield, even though he isn’t as talented, tell Johnny to pat him on the back. Help him encourage him. When your little Susie has a friend who has lost a parent but still smiles and carries on with life, help her to come alongside her.
Too many children today spend way too much time bragging on themselves. We have to redirect them to brag on others. You may have heard of the J-O-Y acrostic. It says Jesus first, Others second and Yourself third. Teach your kids that. Putting Jesus and others ahead of ourselves is a great life lesson.
Who do you know today who could use a little encouragement? Take the time to send them a text or an email. Better yet, pick up the phone and call them. Let them know you are thinking about them. Let them know how proud you are of them. It will send them a message they won’t soon forget.
Lord God, You constantly encourage me. Help me encourage others in the same way. Let me see them through Your eyes.