Tuesday, November 13, 2012

3 Ways to Encourage Greatness in Others

There are those moments in life that leave me wondering and humbled.

Last night I received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the community college I attended.

As I considered what I would say, I came to appreciate all over again how very blessed I have been. Throughout my life, I have been surrounded by people who believe in me. People who always challenged me to be more and never looked down on me because I was young. (I Timothy 4:12).

My parents never told me I couldn't start college early. Then when I was 16 and ready to do it, my mom took me to Mid Plains to see how we could make it happen. The admissions team didn't know what to do with a 16 year old homeschooler, but they made a way for me. Mrs. McGahan opened so many doors for me through student government. Mr. Babcock
challenged me to defend my positions. Mrs. Ridenour and Mr. Babcock opened the door to the Truman scholarship. By the time I left with my associates degree, I was primed to believe that I could achieve at a high level academically and serve at a high level of leadership positions.

God has continued to surround me with people who push and challenge me to do and be more. I am so grateful. But it also reminded me of the importance of taking that role in other people's lives. Here's what I commit to doing. Will you join me with the people God places in your life?

1) I commit to seeking out young people who have a spark of desire. You know the ones, those who want to do and be more. When I find them, I will challenge them to do more than they think they can. Those are all around us if we have eyes to seek them. Sometimes all that challenge needs to be is broadening their world and reminding them what is possible. Other times it's pushing them to do more than the status quo.

2) I commit to looking at my peers and asking God to show me the gifts He has placed in them. I read somewhere that prophecy is simply calling the good out in people. Speaking life to them. I want to be a person who does that consistently. I want to do it intentionally. There are so many ways that we are knocked down by life. I want to be part of breathing life into those around me.

3) I commit to supporting those who have been placed in leadership roles. Giving them the tools they need to succeed. Sometimes that's just saying I believe in them. Other times it's actively supporting them.

We'll never know what we can do until we're challenged. So let's start stepping out and seeing what God has for us and those around us.

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