Links Daily Devotional

A Word of Encouragement

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. (Hebrews 10:24, NIV)

Isn’t it amazing that we can still remember a brief word of encouragement spoken at an opportune time so many years ago? I recall one in particular. It was 1955 and I was 10 years old, playing in my first Texas State Junior Golf Tournament in San Antonio at Brackenridge Park. I was thrilled to even qualify to go. I was traveling with many young men who were 16 to 19 years old, whom I idolized in golf. Wow, I was going to get to play with these guys!

My first match was against a much bigger and much older boy in my flight. I was seven down at the end of nine holes. As I was approaching the ninth green, there was my pro, along with the resident pro at Brackenridge Park, and many of the young men from my hometown. I was so embarrassed! I did not want to make eye contact with any of them. I shuddered when I heard my pro say that they would wait for me to finish before going back to the hotel. They were going to hang around and watch me fall on my sword momentarily.

Well, I won seven holes on the back nine to square the match. That is when I heard the word of encouragement that I remember to this day. The resident pro at Brackenridge exclaimed to my pro and my older friends with him, “That is not a wolf. He is a real tiger. I am going to start calling him Tiger Wolff.”

Maybe that was an overstatement because I promptly lost the first playoff hole to lose the match. I cried all the way back to the car, but I still have the consolation trophy and the words that I had inscribed in pencil on the back of the removable nameplate – “Tiger Wolff.”

In Bob Goff’s wonderful book Love Does, the author describes how a simple word of encouragement (“Wow, what a hit”) from his Little League coach helped to shape his life today. Goff writes: “I used to think the words spoken about us describe who we are, but now I know they shape who we are.”

Now here is the point to these stories. It is not necessarily about words of encouragement that you have received; rather, how many times have you given words of encouragement to others? Have your words helped to shape the life of someone else?

My good friend, Bill Rogers, past British Open champion, is a man who encourages others. I have seen him do this so many times, and he has encouraged me so much as well. I like being around men like this who have that God-given gift of using the tongue to shape others and also glorify God at the same time.

I want to get better at this. I want to sincerely encourage others. Maybe God can use our simple words to shape the life of someone else. Most of all I want to hear those ultimate words of encouragement from Jesus, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” What about you?

Randy Wolff

August 5, 2013

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