This week I was on an airplane doing all the things you do to prepare for take off. Some passengers were already seated and others were coming into the plane, putting their carry on items away, and finding their seats.
During this boarding process a young lady was in the isle trying to put her small carry on in one of the overhead compartments. The flight was crowded and this lady was trying to wedge her small piece of luggage into the overhead.
As she was completing this task, a man in the seat in front of me said in a very loud voice, “You wouldn’t have all that trouble with your luggage if you didn’t bring so much junk.” Suddenly the buzz of talking in my seating area stopped and everyone was looking at each other to see if they really heard what they thought they heard. Everyone waited for the woman’s response but she just found her seat and didn’t say a thing.
Let me contrast this man’s behavior with another woman I encountered that same day. I noticed this woman in the tram that left the gate area and went to the baggage claim. She was an airport employee who was wearing headphones and just dancing and smiling…simply enjoying life. When I smiled at her she took off her headphones and with a big grin said this to me, “Sometimes you just have to dance.”
So which person are you? Are you like the man on the plane…a critic? Or are you like the dancing woman…an encourager? You see we live in a world of critics. We’re surrounded by folks who believe they always know what is best for us and are willing to quickly critique our actions. We see critics on the news, at sporting events, in our churches, and often in our homes.
Let me simply say this, the world doesn’t need more critics. We have plenty of them. We need encouragers. We need folks that really have the joy of the Lord and show it even when they are not intentionally trying to show it. The joy of the Lord is in them and just bubbles out. We need more people like the dancer who make us smile just by being around them. Frankly, we need less people like the critic in the plane and more people like the dancer on the train.
If we really are followers of Christ let’s show the world the joy we have found in Christ. I’m reminded of Galatians 5:22 that says this:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness…
So today decide to be an encourager. Let’s show others some spiritual fruit. Show the world the joy that is only found in Christ and let them be excited and uplifted by your encouragement…not disappointed by your critique.