a particular or indefinite amount of anything: a small quantity of milk; the ocean’s vast quantity of fish.
It’s Tuesday again, and you know what that means… today is “Truth Be Told Tuesday.” Thanks for checking in.
The one thing I’ve learned as a sale professional with 27 years experience is that sales is a numbers game. The more cold calls you make the more appointments you get, thus leading to a higher number of closes. It’s not sexy, nor is it brain surgery, but it is as true as the sun rising in the east and setting in the west.
The more we do something the greater chance we have at repeating “that thing” over and over. Let me rephrase that: the more we do the right thing, a good thing, that thing which is honorable, noble, and uplifting, the greater the potential we have to experience something that will satisfy the heart, mind, and soul.
In the end, everything is a numbers game. My parents have been married 51 years. I’ve been married three times for a total of 20 years. I’m not sure what I’m trying to say other than stating the fact numbers don’t lie.
This past Sunday our pastor shared these numbers with the congregation taken from a PEW Research study:
- 50% of people interviewed believed the bible has too little influence on society.
- 88% of households own a bible.
- 4.7 was the average number of bibles in a home.
- 77% of the people polled believe that our country is losing its moral compass.
- 40% of 18-29 year old individuals (Millenniums) have never read the bible & 30% of that group believe the bible has too little influence in our society.
- 57% read the bible 4x or less per year.
- 26% read the bible 4x week.
- The last two percentages are eerily similar to those of people who attend church on a regular basis.
Like I said, numbers tell an amazing story and rarely if ever do they lie.
We as humans tend to think of numbers in financial terms, sporting events, age, and anniversaries more than anything else. And though all of these areas are worthy of attaching a numeric value to them the area I want briefly touch upon today is in area of encouragement. More specifically, I want to address the issue of how many times we chose to speak encouragement to ourselves and to others over the amount of time we chose to gossip, be combative, and speak words that entertain and enable a poor self image and low self- esteem.
Webster defines encourage this way: to inspire with courage, spirit, or confidence.
The Latin word for encourage is alloqour – al.lo.kwor – which carries with it the meaning to exhort, rouse: console, comfort.
The words that stuck out to me in the definitions of encourage and alloqour were the words courage, console, and comfort. What amazed me with those three terms was the power our words have in making a tremendous difference in the life of another.
Courage, console, and comfort are great things to share with someone else.
I also began to realize and understand the reason so few of us actively pursue encouraging others is because we often don’t sincerely and authentically encourage ourselves, leaving us without the confidence and the courage to encourage another with confidence and courage.
“So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.” -1 Thessalonians 5:11
We all have the ability to powerfully encourage someone else but too often we lack the conviction and commit to do so because we’re running on empty from a lack of encouragement we haven’t received from others and ourselves.
I think we can change this dynamic without being a motivational speaker or becoming a “life coach.” Besides, life coaches scare me for too many reasons to list. All we have to do is sincerely look for opportunities to authentically lift another’s spirit. The more we look for those in need of an emotional lift, the more we find, and the more we can encourage.
It’s a numbers game.
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10
This past Monday – Labor Day – I posted these words on Facebook:
“I have a favor to ask of the Facebook community that I’m apart of. As many of you already know I have a son, Bryce that is currently enrolled at the Air Force Academy Prep School. The first 45 days have been brutal for all and especially Bryce. He completely tore his labrum ligament in his left shoulder. This is the same injury he had his senior year during football on his right shoulder. Surgery is required and it is a 6-7 month healing/strengthening process. He is beyond down and disappointed. No football this year. The good news is that he was elected 1st Sargent of his unit. He is a leader. My request is for everyone to flood his FB page with in encouraging comments. Please, no I feel bad for you, or it will be all right, or that his injury really sucks. Just strong words of encouragement that will lift his spirits, and challenge him to see the task of the Air Force through. If you can’t leave him a message request to be his friend. For those that pray and believe in the power of prayer pray for him today as he comes to your mind. I did not tag him on this post. His name is Bryce… You know his last name. His twitter account is @bryce_bailey22. Thanks in advance to everyone for your words of encouragement. Do not mention me please… Other than that you know me. I want him to be encouraged… authentically encouraged.”
What I learned 79 likes and 27 comments later is that encouragement is a powerful force that can lift a heart above the dark waters of despair and can provide a clear view of the shore up ahead.
I also learned that it takes courage to inspire courage in another. It takes confidence to encourage confidence. It takes a willing spirit to make a difference in another’s spirit. At the end of the day, when we encourage one another we encourage ourselves, leaving us with more encouragement to give to others. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Again, it’s a numbers game.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. – Galatians 6:9
I will close with this.
Many of you reading this are fully aware that I’m obsessed with golf. My goal before I die is to shoot a 79 in golf. For me to reach my goal I have to be mindful that I can accomplish this feat with 9 bogeys, 7 pars, and 2 birdies.
The numbers 9-7-2 are now on my mind 24/7.
To fulfill this dream means I can’t entertain double or triple bogeys; two dear companions that have been lifelong friends for as long as I’ve been playing golf.
And trust me when I say that when my lifetime pursuit in the game of golf is obtained I will shout from the highest mountaintop, and I will light up Facebook and twitter like a grill on the 4th of July when I shot a 79.
As I went through the math and began to become obsessed with the number 79 I ask myself what if that number represented the number of people I were to encourage in a day, week, month, or year.
What would that look like for those 79 people? What would it look like to me?
After a few minutes of reflection and analysis I realized it’s a numbers game and it looked just like the 79 people that responded to my plea on Facebook concerning my son this past Monday.
Thanks to all 79 people that encouraged my soul by taking the time to encourage my son. Your words (and likes) were purposeful and powerful. It was inspiring, and gave both Bryce and I confidence, confidence that things will improve; things will get better.
Funny, maybe 9-7-2 stands for encouraging 9 strangers, 7 friends and myself twice a week- maybe a day.
I do believe 79 is now my new favorite number.
That is my “Truth Be Told” for September 2, 2014 (tbtt . #64)
I Won’t Give Up . Jason Mraz