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It’s a good thing to ‘provoke’ others

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I didn’t get up this morning thinking about how I could “provoke” someone. However, after receiving a text from a dear friend, it’s at the forefront of my thoughts.

The text was a link to a song called “Peace Over You” by Here Be Lions. I know, interesting name for a singing group, huh? Anyway, the song was just what I needed to “provoke” me into desiring to “provoke” others around me.

The songwriter wrote “Peace Over You” for his father during a time of illness. The chorus goes like this: “So I speak peace, peace to come into the room. I speak peace, peace over you. I speak life, life to come into the room. I speak life, life over you.”

You might be wondering why in the world a song like that from a dear friend would cause me to desire to provoke those around me. Well, let me explain. After listening to the song, my heart stirred. I smiled to think that my friend was seeking to encourage me, especially when she didn’t even know if I needed encouragement. We hadn’t texted in a few days, and yet she chose to send me that song to let me know she was praying those things over my life.

Now, that’s a friend.

But how did that make me feel like provoking someone else? Well, when I considered what my friend chose to do for me, I immediately began thinking about the Bible verse that says, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,” (Hebrews 10:24). That’s from the New International Verison. The King James Version puts it this way: “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and good works.”

So there you have it. My friend’s single, small action caused me to want to “spur” or “provoke” others in the same manner, you included.

How fun would it be if you and I took on the challenge of seeing just how many people we could encourage today — if we desperately and intentionally searched for ways to provoke someone else to love and good works? It could be a simple phone call, text or letter in the mail. It could even be a kind word spoken across the pavement in your driveway or through a mask at the grocery store.

I wonder what life in the pandemic world would look like and how the attitudes and choices of those around us would change if we but “provoked” them a little.

So with that in mind, consider yourself provoked. Now go and provoke someone else.

Prayer: Thank you, father, that you are the great encourager, that you put me within the body of Christ to encourage and “provoke” others to do great acts of love and good deeds. Thank you that you allow me to be a part of this awesome plan of yours. Help me know how to proceed with “provoking.” I love you, father, I truly do.

Steve and Belinda Kirk write the “Everyday Grace” devotional for the Johnstonian News. Reach them at 919-449-5745 or sbmkax@earthlink.net.

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