By Greg Johnson
Your son has been playing basketball out in the driveway for years. You go out and rebound for him when you have time. Once in a while, you give him a few pointers on how to dribble and shoot a lay-up. As he’s grown, you’ve gone to his games all through his grade school years—almost every one!
As he improves his play, you are always there to give him encouragement. And then there are those games of “horse” he ropes you into. You try all of the trick shots you know; make a few, too. When he complains, you shoot something normal. He’s at the point where he can beat you on a consistent basis. Win or lose, you always have a way of making it close so he doesn’t get too discouraged.
Now it’s basketball season again and your son is in his first year of junior high school. He’s never had any trouble making a team before, so you don’t even think about him not making this one.
He comes home from practice one day with a worried look on his face. At dinner he says, “The competition is pretty tough this year. There are quite a few new guys who are a lot better than me. I don’t know if I’ll make the team.”
This confession catches everyone by surprise. You tell him to try his best, ‘that’s all you can do.”
Three days later, he comes home right after school. You got home early, and you’re surprised to see him walk in the door. As he heads down the hallway you can see he’s been crying.
“Why aren’t you at practice?” you ask.
He hesitates a little as he goes into his room. “I got cut,” is all he says as he closes the door.
Questions to Think On
• What would you do or say to try to comfort him?
• Have you ever been so disappointed about something that happened to you that no words could help you feel better?
• When you feel that way, what is the best way others can encourage you?
• Are you a good encourager? Do you like to build others up by what you say?
What Does God Have to Say?
A man finds joy in giving an apt reply—and how good is a timely word. Proverbs 15:23
A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.