In the movie “Facing The Giants” the coach challenges one of the players to give his best effort. The young player says that he will – but the coach pushes him to promise to give it everything he’s got. The player promises that he will give his best effort. To ensure that he will "give it all he’s got" the coach puts a blindfold on the player. The task is to move down the football field on all fours (the players hands and feet) while carrying another player on his back. The young athlete believes that in his best effort he might make it to the 50 yard line. The center of the field.
As the player starts moving down the field the other plays are laughing and shouting. The player moves slowly but steadily along. One step at a time. One move at a time. Soon the laughing of the other plays turns to silence as the player continues down the field. He believes he as moved past the 10 yard line and perhaps past the 20. The coach keeps yelling words of encouragement – “Don’t give up. Keep on going. You can do it.” The young player starts saying that his muscles are hurting and that he is becoming exhausted. The coach starts yelling – “Just ten more steps.” When the player gives him ten the coach yells – “Just five more steps.” They continue down the field. “Give me just two more.” He keeps going. Then the coach yells, “Give me one more.” When the player doe it, the coach yells, "One more you’re almost there." And they continue down the field. Finally the player is exhausted. He believes that he might have made it to the fifty yard line. When the young athlete finally stops and removes the blindfold he finds that he has gone end zone to end zone. The coach had given him encouragement the entire way.
Folks we are to be encouragers. The game that we play in is called life. The fact is that it is not a game at all. So the Bible tells us to:
“Encourage each other daily, while it is still called today, so that none of you is hardened by sin’s deception.” Hebrews 3:13 (HCSB)
From Tom Shepard’s Sermon: The Marks of a Great Christian – Encouraging