Home on the Range
“Oh, give me a home, where the buffalo roam, where the deer and the antelope play, where seldom is heard, a discouraging word, and the skies are not cloudy all day. Home, home on the range, where the deer and the antelope play, where seldom is heard a discouraging word, and the skies are not cloudy all day.”
This song has some memorable words that capture pleasant thoughts and desires. In today’s message, we are focusing on ‘encouraging’ words. Encouragement comes in many forms. Anywhere from, “You did a great job cooking that meal.” Or “You look great in that dress.” To the simple act of someone noticing you, “Thanks for dinner.” And/or “You look nice.”
Vanity? Puffy pride? Probably not.
After all, Christians imagine their first day in Heaven and dream to hear God say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Encouragement vs. Discouragement. Sometimes the most discouraging feedback is the sound of silence. Sometimes silence is worse than the confirming words of, “That meat was overcooked and dry.” At least with that info you can improve next time ... but to hear nothing, no feedback, silence … How many times have you taken others for granted?
Ever not tell a janitor you’ve never met, “Thank you for your hard work in keeping this facility clean.”
Ever not tell your coworker who did a great job, “Hey, you did a great job on that project.”
Ever not tell your spouse, “I appreciate your love and affection and how you care for our family.”
If you are an ‘ever not’ (as most of us are) you are discouraging those whom you do not recognize and appreciate by uttering a simple and honest, “Well done.”
What does the Bible say about discouragement, anything?
Ephesians 4:29-32 -
"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."
So the song today, “Oh, Give Me a Home on The Range” is used here to appeal to all of us who are looking towards their Home in Heaven. On your way there look out for those whom God places in your path, appreciate them for their character and thank them for stuff you may have never thought of. Even if it is someone dutifully doing their job cashiering at a store or hauling away your trash.
We all need reasonable encouragement every day of our lives.
Are you encouraging those around you to seek God's face? Do they want to be like you?