Being inspired by God requires knowing Him in a personal, intimate way.
Inspire: to fill with an animating, quickening, or exalting influence
Encourage: to inspire with courage, spirit, or confidence
Nag: to annoy by persistent faultfinding, complaints, or demands.
My daughter was talking about a book and how it inspired her to hope in God. Her eyes sparkled and she was animated as she spoke. My other daughter was reading that book and told me about it. Her eyes held mysteries I wanted to explore. She said it was good and I should read it. I was inspired to buy it for myself. I told my daughter about it and that is how she came to read it. The book inspired us to action.
Inspired to Hope in God
My son said, “Inspiration cannot be forced.” Some people have a gift of encouragement that causes others to have a renewed hope or strength. They are fun to be around. Things they say cause excitement and inspire us to do more. Some people nag. They are not so fun to be around.
Sometimes I encourage people and sometimes I nag. It feels like I’m encouraging them, but what I’m really doing is demanding or complaining. It is very easy to intend to encourage and end up nagging. Sometimes the words feel exactly the same when they are coming out of my mouth, but are taken completely differently by the people receiving those words.
Encourage, don’t nag
I used to say of my son that pushing him to do anything was like pushing one end of a string. I thought I was encouraging him to do his schoolwork. After all the work of pushing, he was still in the same place! I was nagging.
After a prolonged period of time, I tried not to nag or complain. I tried to control what I said. But then I stopped thinking of me. It is easier when I am not focused on how I am affected, how I will be better off, how I am “helping” and focus on the others, any others.
What I need to do:
- Learn to listen to them and talk with them, not at them.
- Look at their hearts, not their actions.
- See what their body language is really saying, not what they are wearing or how their hair is styled.
- Really listen to God.
Inspiring is something that God does. The beauty of nature is inspiring. The birth of a child is inspiring. The complexities of this life and his miracles are inspiring. God’s wisdom and his knowledge is inspiring. God’s word is inspiring.
Sometimes we are humbly used to inspire people to action, to hope, to get up and continue life. When we inspire people from God, they jump out of chairs with energy. They move from their hearts with hope and joy and excitement. They are inspired.
God, inspire me to inspire others.
He forgives your sins—every one. He heals your diseases—every one. He redeems you from hell—saves your life! He crowns you with love and mercy—a paradise crown. He wraps you in goodness—beauty eternal. He renews your youth—you’re always young in his presence.
God makes everything come out right; he puts victims back on their feet. He showed Moses how he went about his work, opened up his plans to all Israel.
God is sheer mercy and grace; not easily angered, he’s rich in love. He doesn’t endlessly nag and scold, nor hold grudges forever.
He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve, nor pay us back in full for our wrongs. As high as heaven is over the earth, so strong is his love to those who fear him. And as far as sunrise is from sunset, he has separated us from our sins.
The inspiring book is Captivating by the Eldridges.