The level of fire and passion in me at any given time is a key to my accomplishing a lot with my life and enjoying the activity that I am involved in. When I am hot, life is good, and things get crossed off of my “to-do” list fast. But the level of fire and passion in me at any given time is a massive variable in my life, and often is a mystery as to why some days are rocker launchers and other days are a ho-hum; I wonder what we are eating for dinner tonight day. One thing I do know with certainty is that when my fire is out I can’t simply “will it” back like turning up the thermostat on the wall. But I do know where the service station for passion and drive is located in my life.
Actually, there are a number of “fire starters” in my life including fishing, but one of the most effective is the encouragement I get from other people. That shouldn’t be a surprise to me because it is a major principle in the Bible repeated many times. It is God who gives the inner strength, will and motivation, but He always gives it to us through other people. God gives us what we need in order to run with endurance the race that He sets before us, but He requires humility on our part to seek it from others.
1 Thessalonians 5:11
Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.
But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
Here are a few principles regarding the discipline of receiving God’s fire from others;
1. The more encouragement we choose to give to others the more we will receive, this is a fundamental law of God that applies to many different areas of our life, Luke 6:38 says, “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” Many don’t get much encouragement from others because they rarely choose to give it.
2. Certain people in my life are very effective at filling my gas tank full. I need to know who those people are and always be on the lookout for more like them.
3. Regular times of hanging out with these kleptomaniacs tends to keep my passion level at a constant level usually above 3/4’s full. That is so much more effective than waiting until I am in a major “blue funk” to seek it. Accountability groups, Bible studies, and prayer meetings of men with other men and ladies with other ladies is a great way to accomplish this fellowship time, but often purely social events work great for me.
4. The stronger the relationship that I have with others who light my fire the more effective the “giving encouragement” process is between us. But healthy relationships take time, work, and understanding in how to have a healthy relationship, which is the bottleneck in this whole process with most people, if we don’t value it we won’t work at it.
5. Most Christians don’t put a very high value on time spent with others for the purpose of encouragement so they don’t make it happen in their life. In their mind the effort and time required isn’t worth the payoff. They will struggle in their walk and relationship with Christ., bearing little fruit for God, and doing poorly at the “Judgment Seat of Christ.”