Day 92: IN spire

If I have learned anything in life it is this; you will never shame anyone into doing anything of value. 

Don't hear me say that you can't shame people into doing things.  I am living proof that you can!  In fact, anyone who has ever had a mother has been shamed into doing something (my kids included . . . but they may not comment on this blog!)

While shame might produce short term desired results, it's not a great motivator for change.  It's not a great mobilizer of movements.  It produces guilt, a guilt that says you must do something in order to be valuable or have worth.

But I believe that the very gospel I live by says otherwise.  It's not based on shame.  It's based on love.  And the same God who loves me, inspires me to serve Him and serve others.  He doesn't guilt or shame me into it.

I've been thinking a lot lately about inspiring people, especially as it relates to serving others.   And because I'm a word nerd, I looked up the word inspire and found this:

Inspire - <latin> inspīrāre to breathe upon or into

It's most literal meaning is to breathe life into something or someone.  It doesn't mean to suck the life out of them.  That word would be expire, which also means to die.  We don't want to "expire" people; we want to "inspire" them.

Inspiring someone to do something means giving that something meaning, giving it life.  Think about your words the next time you want someone to do something.  Will those words give life or will they produce an opposite effect?  Will they be filled with life or filled with shame?

All that to say, speak life.  (and serve others, because your life will never be the same when you make a difference in someone else's life!)

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