I Thessalonians 5:11, 14-23
How many of you have received a compliment today? How many of you have given a compliment to someone today? I would like you to turn to your neighbor and give them a sincere complement. Research shows that you remember a complement for 15 minutes and you remember a put down for 6 months. Wow 15 minutes for a complement and 6 months for a put down. That is 11,520 complements to offset 1 put down. That is a lot of complements. †
Paul tells us to encourage one another to give them hope. To help people when they are scared or to give people a push when they need a little encouragement. Encouragement gives added ability to risk & try especially new things. When we first moved here, I was a nervous wreck. It was hard for me to come here at the beginning of 8th grade not knowing anyone or knowing anything. I was scared out of my mind. 2 people really helped me by encouraging me the first day of school. Sean and Cliff were my first 2 friends here in Prescott. The first day of school my mom pulled up to Mile High. Sean and Cliff were there waiting for me. They helped me find my classes and talked to me when very few would. They helped me get through school. They encouraged me, they where the ones that gave me strength and I will never forget that. As Christians we are always being asked to risk, to grow, as we seek to become like Jesus. We need encouragement to help us. This youth group is the best encouragement I have ever gotten. They are like a family to me. They are my encouragement.
Encouragement isnít the only thing people can do. Sometimes we give put downs that hurt someone or we receive them which hurts us. When you give a put down you take their encouragement and their strength away. At my old church, I did not like going to the youth group. I was known as the annoying pastorís daughter to all the guys. When I would go, the guys were mean and called me names. They didnít even know me. All they knew really was some basic info, where I went to school, how old I was and what my name was. Finally I just stopped going to youth group. I didnít want to have to deal with the pain they where giving me. I would sometimes go to my sister in tears because I didnít know who else to turn to. They took away all I had, and I just couldnít take it anymore. So how we treat others, and what we say makes a difference to the people around us. Paul tells us we need to encourage so that we can help each other, especially through those times that are scary or when it is a new experience.
The youth will now do a short skit entitled I.A.L.A.C. I.A.L.A.C. means ďI am Loveable and Capable.Ē I am loveable and capable. Encouragement helps us to experience our I.A.L.A.C. and discouragement causes us to lose our feelings of being loveable and capable. The skit will share ways we, as youth, have felt encouraged by others & discouraged. You will see what happens to your I.A.L.A.C. when you receive a put down and what happens when you get a complement. You will also see that even though a complement can repair our I.A.L.A.C. there still remains scars from the put down.
Homily delived by Sara Cushman on November 12, 2006, Youth Sunday.
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