We’re prone to live with a “me, myself, and I” attitude. You know, the kind of attitude that looks out for my interests, my successes, and my passions? Our pride loves to pulse through our veins as we make daily choices that elevate ourselves to the position of #1.
But Philippians 2:3–8 should stop in our tracks:
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (emphasis added).
This short passage teaches lessons that can take a lifetime to learn:
- Humble yourself as Jesus humbled Himself.
- Serve as Jesus served.
- Esteem others as Jesus esteemed others.
Have you noticed that championing others doesn’t exactly come naturally? It requires the work of the Holy Spirit to help win the fight against pride.
Wave Good-bye to Pride
We can’t lift others up without saying good-bye to our pride. Remember, “in humility count others more significant than yourselves” (v. 3). Only a genuinely humble heart is one that is capable of gladly waving pom-poms for others. And that’s what we’re called to do—to stand from the sidelines and cheer for our friends, families, churches, and even strangers.
Way to go!
You got this!
This is the best!
You nailed it!
I so appreciate you!
Thanks for everything you do.
Fifty Ways to Cheer
With this in mind, here are fifty ways to champion others for their encouragement and for the glory of God:
Write thoughtful, encouraging, celebratory notes to your friends or siblings when . . .
- They’re studying for a big test.
- They’re working on a huge research paper.
- They’re trying out for a part in the school play.
- They ace a quiz.
- They make the team.
- They’re voted onto the homecoming court.
- They get accepted to their dream college.
- They receive an award.
- Just because!
Show up with your friend’s favorite muffin and latte when they’re . . .
- Cramming for the SAT or ACT.
- Working a long shift at work.
- Studying at the library.
- Bummed about a test grade.
- Feeling overwhelmed or hurt by a family situation.
Make sparkly posters, and cheer your friends and siblings on at their events:
- Volleyball, soccer, softball, tennis, football, baseball, and basketball games.
- Cheerleading competitions.
- Dance recitals.
- Choir concerts.
- Band competitions.
Tell your parents . . .
- How much you loved dinner.
- “Thank you!” for chauffeuring you around to your events.
- That you’re so glad they’re YOUR parents.
- That you’d like to run some errands for them.
- “I love you!” and give them a big hug.
- Instead of tweeting about yourself, tweet about others’ wins.
- Tell your friends at school and at youth group you’re praying for them—and ask if they have any specific prayer requests. (Don’t forget to actually pray.)
- Write out Psalms and prayers on 3×5 notecards, and drop them into your friends’ lockers or leave them on their desks.
- Determine that instead of complaining or gossiping about your teammates you’ll say as many cheerful and uplifting things as possible.
- Clip a thoughtful thank-you note for your teacher to one of your assignments when you turn it in.
- During class discussions, praise others for their great ideas.
- Tell the waitress that she did an awesome job serving your table (and leave a generous tip!).
- Ask your siblings to share a few prayer requests with you and pray with them.
- Tell the greeter at the store that they have a nice and friendly smile.
- Thank the attendant in the clothing store for being so helpful.
- Write a list of all the things you appreciate about your grandparents, and give it to them. (Then spend some unhurried, undistracted time with them!)
- Smile and thank the cafeteria workers at school for serving you each day.
- Volunteer to serve coffee at a fellowship time at church, and greet as many folks as possible with kind and encouraging comments.
- Visit an elderly friend at a nursing home and ask them to share stories of God’s work in his or her life.
- Sit in the front row at church, and be attentive, respectful, and take notes—your pastor will be thankful!
- Tell the barista at the coffee shop that the drink they made for you is just fabulous!
- Make brunch for your parents on a Saturday morning—and take care of clean up.
- Bake cookies for your Sunday school class, and write a kind note to your teacher, thanking him or her for their faithfulness.
- Tie balloons to your BFF’s locker on her birthday.
- Tell your mom you appreciate her, and offer to vacuum and dust the house (or more!).
- Tell your dad you appreciate him, and wash his car.
- Ask your siblings if they need help with their homework—and be patient, kind, and genuinely helpful.
- Bring doughnuts (and a cheerful attitude) to share with your 8 a.m. class.
- Watch your youth pastor’s kids (for free!), and send him and his wife out for a date night.
- Invite a classmate (or more!) in need of a friend to sit with you at lunch. Chat with her, encourage her, include her.
- Whenever you see someone deserving of a genuine compliment, give it without expectation of anything in return.
Do you plan to put any of these ideas into action? Anything you’d add? Leave a comment!