(Note: I mention names here because I complimented them)
I miss the co-leaders back in the old church. I miss the Old Church who gives me the tap at the back. I miss Pastor James O. Montenegro, my former high school teacher/adviser now a Pastor in Bulacan, who gives me encouragement. He’s one of those few Old Church people who didn’t change his treatment to me despite of what had happened (although other Old Church people say they didn’t change, but Pastor James proved it in his actions toward me, even going to the New Church to preach, and eventually, making friends with the New Church Pastor). I miss Pastor Joel A. Solomon, Pastor in Sapang Palay, SJDM, Bulacan. He may be quite a snub <<<(please don’t mistook that statement ok?), but hey, he has that pragmatic state of mind (“it happened before, just aspire not to do it again”). I appreciate Bro. Rolly Javier’s tap at the back. Pastor Jeremias A. Solomon, my former mentor and Youth Director, for being humble in “situations where humility is necessary”. I miss some of the Old Church youngsters, like Ambel Gallardo, Azre Villarico, Jeremy James Samson, Emmanuel Refugio, Ezra Villarico. I also appreciate Miguel Rodriguez (not the late actor), for still believing in me. I also appreciate May Moreno, Kristine Victoria for the smiles at me, for still calling me “kuya”, for still considering me their “former leader”.
I also appreciate those people who gave me the cold shoulders (which I assume that they’ve justified it, to the point of burying it with their assumptions) after that “dark thing of the past”. It is because of them that I made a realization to strive for a better testimony, a better Christian life, and a tougher person not too dependent on other brethren (by not forsaking God’s assembly).
There are others, but I mentioned the foremost people who gave me the encouragement and the “just like before” treatment. Yes, those who know them will maybe discredit them based on their past mistakes, and their past negative actions. Maybe other people who know them know their lapses (if they have one, or two), but with their encouragement and “still positive” treatment to me, they have helped a brother in Christ.
Nowadays, I appreciate the simplest of encouragements that I receive. Nowadays, I receive encouragement from unlikely people. I used the word “unlikely” because they look tough. Around two years ago, a father of my 4 youth members, while inside their car, told me, “You’re still young. You still have many things to do for the Lord.” You know why I appreciate that man’s encouragement? If you just know his life before he got saved, you’ll understand what I’m trying to talk about.
Just yesterday (Sunday, July 27), the New Church Pastor’s mother approached me. She’s known for her strictness and her toughness. She’s a person who rarely smiles (and she acknowledges that). She approached me, and you know what? She encouraged me. She said to keep up with the good attitude and some other positive stuff. I almost forgot to mention, a few months back, she said that God will bless me. This may sound a cliché for a veteran believer, but I gave back to God the glory. I am hypocrite not to admit that I enjoyed those compliments and encouragements. That encouragement was etched in my head. Two unlikely people became the source of those encouraging words. I can’t help but compare these two unlikely people with those likely people I’m expecting encouragement, but never received it.
Indeed, sometimes, you can never tell whom will God use in order for a brethren in Christ to be encouraged. I believed that God spoke in their hearts, maybe they just don’t know it. Those encouragements will be etched in my head. Those encouragements will be considered my fuel to persevere, despite of my shortcomings before.
Like I said, I appreciate the simplest of encouragements.
Never withhold the encouragement to a fellow brother or sister in Christ. Never withhold compliments to a fellow worker both inside and outside the church. Never fail to appreciate people for their simplest positive traits. Never withhold the compliments due to a person, even if you feel that he or she will be boastful after the compliments. Besides, your assumption that that person will be boastful MAY BE WRONG. (Sometimes, people withhold encouragements and compliments to a person because they feel that that person is “so full of himself/herself”. Granting the fact, they are right, if their assumption IS INDEED RIGHT, GOD WILL TAKE CARE OF THAT PERSON.) Always give a tapping at the back to those people who had a well done job. Especially in government office bosses, learn to be thankful with your staff.
The world is so cold; encouragement and compliment will warm their day even for a while. Christians should tear the wall of fear (of being accused of this and that) and pride and start to encourage fellow Christians. Like I said, it’s a cold world out there, sincere encouragements and compliments will surely warm a person’s day. Try it.