The Art of Inspiration
This morning I’m thinking of a few people in God’s Word and in my own life who had a keen ability to inspire the people around them. The art of inspiration should be studied and even practiced but I guess what God is teaching me most of all today is that it will come natural when you have a genuine passion for God and a genuine love for people - sincerely having their best interest in mind.
King David: Do you remember in 2 Samuel 23:15-16. David’s mere wish was his friends’ command. Sure, the men that day were his soldiers and they had their duties. But when a King mentions he’s thirsty and then the men around him cross enemy lines to get some water. That’s not evidence of a soldier’s duty; it’s evidence of a deep friendship - a love for the King they truly respect above anyone else. They KNEW David truly loved them as friends, not just subordinates.
Nehemiah: Do you recall reading about Nehemiah moving into the neighborhood and challenging the lazy, defiant people? Over time, he built friendships with so many of them and built their trust and eventually the Bible says in Neh. 4:6 “The people had a mind to work." Another translation says: "At last the wall was completed to half its height around the entire city, for the people had worked with enthusiasm!" Now when he first arrived, everyone was stubborn, selfish and separated. Over time, he was able to inspire them to become selfless, sacrificial and united - even enthusiastic about working together! They were so united they were able build a wall around their city - a wall that represented their individual identity and unity as a city and a wall that was a picture of their new found community - every brick built upon another representing a life built upon another with the mortar of love. This took an incredible amount of patience on Nehemiah’s part.
Pastor Richard Crisco: No, he’s not in the Bible. He was my mentor and Bible College President. He had an uncanny ability to inspire Christ-likeness in everyone he interacted with. I suppose it was a few things that developed this art. 1. His actions. Once a month, he volunteered in the kitchen serving food, cleaning dishes simply to prove a point to all the students. You can imagine going through the Cafeteria line, getting your tray, fork, knife, sandwich, and then the President of the entire school drops a scoop of mashed potatoes on your plate. I’ll never forget that. He demonstrated selflessness, he didn’t just dictate it. 2. His Passion. I believe he cried in 9 out of every 10 messages he preached. Did he work this up so as to act and put on a show? Absolutely not. He simply was that moved by God’s Word and it’s implications on our lives. 3. His Friendship. I remember one day toward the end of my time there, some of my friends were just talking - saying what we’re going to miss about school. Then someone said "what’s cool about Brother Richard is that he makes you feel like you’re his best friend." A millisecond later, everyone - including myself, said "yeah, that’s how I felt!" We all realized something. He was intentional about really listening, really caring and really being in the moment of every conversation. This made us feel like a million bucks and this also inspired us to live the Godly lives he was teaching about. His LIFE and genuine LOVE for people backed his messages and the compounding power (of what he taught and how he lived) was incredible inspiration for everyone.
Are you inspiring anyone? Take a few moments and ask God what you can do to develop the art of inspiration. You will be so rewarded and fulfilled when you see the results of those you’ve inspired.