“Encourage him, and strengthen him.”
Encouragement can work miracles. In the movie Stand and Deliver, high school teacher Jaime Escalante has two students in his class named Johnny. One is a happy child and an excellent student; the other spends his time goofing off and getting into trouble. When the Parent Teacher Association held its first meeting of the year, a mother came up to Jaime and asked, “How’s my son, Johnny, getting along?” Jaime mistakenly assumed she was the mom of the better student, so he replied, “I can’t tell you how much I enjoy him. I’m so glad he’s in my class.” The next day “problem Johnny” came to Jaime and said, “My mom told me what you said about me last night. I haven’t ever had a teacher who wanted me in his class.” The result? He completed his assignments that day, and brought in his completed homework the next morning. A few weeks later he had become one of Jaime’s hardest-working students—and one of his best friends. His life had been turned around because of an accidental word of encouragement. It works like this: When you look for good in a person and express it, you give them something to live up to. In other words, you motivate them to be better than they are. The last thing God told Moses to do was to encourage and strengthen Joshua “for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which thou shalt see” (v. 28). And here’s the great thing about encouragement: You don’t have to be rich, attractive, prominent, or brilliant to give it, and it’s always appreciated. So today, encourage someone.