Opinion

Encourage one another and make it good news

by
July 07, 2017

Echuca-Moama Salvation Army Auxiliary Lieutenant Sonia Edwards.

I DON’T know about you but I love to hear good news, and my favourite news program is Channel Seven’s Sunrise lately.

They have been presenting good news stories each day, which breaks the constant hearing of the bad news.

On June 27 they started their good news segment with “How often do you wave”.

This story is about Peter Squires and his mission to get everyone waving to each other, friends and strangers alike.

He started in Tailem Bend SA, his local town, after the suicide of his grandson in 2016.

Why is he doing this?

He wants to change people’s attitude towards each other and to make people feel that they belong, that they are part of a community, which is working towards combatting depression. It is working, as Tailem Bend has been given the title of Australia’s friendliest town.

“The waving for wellbeing revolution is helping the members of this town reconnect and we want it to spread,” Peter Squires said.

Other locals interviewed made comments such as “how easy is it to wave”, “it’s like a smile and it is infectious” and “random acts of kindness which uplifts people’’.

How cool is this?

We find in the bible many verses that express the need for encouraging one another, loving one another, and being part of a community.

In Hebrews 3: 12-13 (New International version) we read: “See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness” (Hebrews 3:12-13)

Sadly in today’s world we are turning towards the bad news more and more.

And we are seeing huge growth in mental illness, drug and substance abuse, domestic violence and social media trending towards negativity — putting others down, and people don’t feel worthy, they feel isolated and alone.

How simple then is it to change this trend – a wave, a smile, an encouraging word, and most importantly sharing the greatest Good news storing of all time our living God.

Peter 3:8-12 (from the Living Bible version): And now this word to all of you: You should be like one big happy family, full of sympathy toward each other, loving one another with tender hearts and humble minds. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t snap back at those who say unkind things about you. Instead, pray for God’s help for them, for we are to be kind to others, and God will bless us for it.

Let each of us then, encourage one another and build a community to which everyone feels they belong.

As Will Rogers once said; “A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet”.

Sonia Edwards

Salvation Army

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