Published July 30, 2013

Shelia Shares....
"Encouraging or Shoving"

There are so many problems in this world. You probably have a number of friends struggling with health issues, death, financial difficulties, relationship issues, mistakes and circumstances. Some they have caused and some are just a natural part of life.

Recently I saw a video about one way cats and dogs are different. The dog was at the bottom of the stairs and the puppy was on the landing at the top of the stairs. The puppy wanted to come down but was afraid.

The dog ran up the stairs and back down. The puppy didn't follow.

The dog ran up the stairs again. Lingered on the landing for a bit with the puppy and then ran down. The puppy cautiously put two paws on the first step. Then the paws returned to the landing at the top of the stairs.

The dog again returned up the stairs and tried gently to nudge the puppy towards the stairs. The puppy retreated further back on the landing.

Finally, the dog came to the top of the stairs. He put his paws on the downward steps. The puppy put his paws on the first step. The dog advanced down to another step. Cautiously, the puppy tried another step. Together they eventually went down the stairs and reached the floor below.

The next part of the video was very short. A cat was looking down a hole in the floor, deciding how to get down what appeared to be an attic-access ladder. Another cat was comfortably perched beside the hole.

As the first cat searched for the best way to get down, the other cat reached over and just shoved him down. Sound effects on the video included a crash as the cat landed below.

There are days I feel like the cat. You got up here on your own, get down on your own. Here, let me give you a push. No, let me give you a shove. I don't want to be bothered with you or with your problems.

But, as Christians, we need to be like the dog. We need to keep going back to give encouragement. We keep going back to show the way. We show the way over and over and over again. Even though it takes time, we continue to walk beside until the person is on the right path and can go it on their own.

Not only do we need to be a patient encourager to others, but the Holy Spirit does the same for us. He instructs us, guides us and walks beside us — showing us the way.

I want to help others. I need the Holy Spirit to help me. As Christians, we are blessed to be able to give and to have that constant source of power and blessing that we need. Imitate Christ and lean on Him for strength.

- Shelia

PS: Here's the link to the original video.
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