I hope you saw yesterday’s “A Lesson in Leadership.” It was an amazing story of encouragement in the midst of stress and hurt.
The story had to do with a missed shot in a basketball game. Instead of chewing out the young player, the veteran, Draymond Green, encouraged the young player to put the missed shot behind him and move on to help win the game. He did move on, and he did help win the game.
I have thought a lot about that lesson in leadership. The easiest thing you can do is blame someone else. The easiest thing is to take your hurt out on others who have failed.
I saw this play out yesterday with a friend who told me her story. It was obvious that Satan has had a hey-day showing her the shots she has missed.
That is how Satan uses our missed shots. The Bible tells us that he is the accuser. That’s what the name means. He uses our missed shots to make us give up and quit. All around the country people are giving up. Suicide is an epidemic in America. Satan is pointing out our failures and showing us how we have failed. He did that to Job, and he does it to us.
Satan tells us what a mess we have made of our life. He points out our failures, and he tells us we are no good. If you hear those words in your head, you know you are hearing from Satan.
Jesus did not deal in that way. When people “missed shots,” he encouraged them. To the woman at the well and the woman taken in adultery, he encouraged them to sin no more and to go on with life by seeking to please God. To Simon Peter, who missed the biggest shot of all, Jesus helped him to move on and helped the people around him to recognize the leadership of this man. In the years ahead, Jesus’ forgiveness and encouragement helped Peter survive and helped the church grow.
You will have similar opportunities. They will come with strangers and co-workers, but more than any other way they will come with your spouse and particularly your children. As we encourage them along the way, they will grow into people who will encourage others as well.
Remember, when you hear words of hope, forgiveness, and encouragement, you know you are hearing the wonderful words of God.