In the book, A Third Serving of Chicken Soup, Marie Curly wrote about a young boy named Jamie Scott. Jamie was trying out for the elementary school play, and he was very excited about getting a part. However, his mother feared that he might be disappointed.
After school, he burst through the door and announced with great joy, “Guess what, Mom? I got a part in the play.”
His mother was delighted and asked, “What is your part?”
Her son answered with great pride: “I’ve been chosen to clap and cheer!”
Sadly, our default setting as fallen humans is to boo and jeer rather than to clap and cheer. We identify the worst in others, tearing down rather than building up. We give ourselves the benefit of the doubt while doubting the benefit of others.
In the Acts of the Apostles, the apostles gave devout disciple named Joseph the nickname of “Barnabas.” The title literally means “Son of Encouragement.” Possessing the spiritual gift of edification, he built up other believers in the faith.
All of God’s children are called to be Sons and Daughters of Encouragement. We are called to both recognize and elicit the very best in others.
We have been chosen to clap and cheer.