Mad About You


We had our own form of March Madness around our house – it was about that time that the weather invited our children to enjoy outside activities. We had a basketball goal next to the drive and the annoying sound of “thump, thump, dong” echoing off of brick walls repeated over and over for hours. When evening came, we finally gave our neighbors some relief by calling in the restless athletes. It was a great stress relief for our teens, but it didn’t do much for the adults. As they put this home practice into action on local teams, we made many road trips and sat in every conceivable gymnasium imaginable – air-conditioned and not; bleachers, stadium seats and no seats at all; homemade concessions and vending machines. But we were not there for the facilities; we were there for our children.

March Madness is less about quality basketball or even those who play the game – it is a way to get the fans back into the game. It is all about building a fan base.

Maybe “Believers” could follow the example of basketball and find ways to build a base of encouragers, people who would ‘cheer’ on each other. Sometimes we become complacent, petty and just too familiar with each other to become a vital part of each other’s success.

“…let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another…”   Hebrew 10:24-25 [NAS]

* Consider – a call to purposefully evaluate the ‘need’ and the ‘how to’
* Stimulate – active involvement with others in order to produce action
* One Another – a mutual relationship where both are spurred forward
* Love – a growing affection that desires the best
* Good Deeds – evidence of a life of love in action
* Together – not a ‘me’ or a ‘you’ but an ‘us’
* Encourage – affirmation that builds up Godly strength
* The markers of a true sport’s team fan base may be:
* Wearing the team colors or logos
* Always present, even in bad times
* Knowledge of the players
* Pride in the history
* Whatever it takes’ attitude
* The markers of encouraging ‘Believers’ may be:
* Wearing the “mark of the Christian” – Love
* Faithful to each other even in times of struggle
* Intimate knowledge of one another
* Understanding the foundations for faith
* Commitment to the greater cause of Christ

We need people of faith to be radical in their support of one another. There are many discouraging things that we all encounter.

Our First Place groups, our churches, families and friends need to be gatherings of intentionally encouraging people !

This is not the shallow and sometimes annoyingly silly, flattering fluff that often is passed for being positive.

It is the ability to be honest with ourselves and others in light of the “Light” and still be people of hope, grace and affection.

There are enough people that we encounter who are mad AT everyone – why not do something new – be mad ABOUT everyone.

It is the ability to see what God sees in the life of everyone he created and choosing to be a part of His releasing that great potential.

Dr. Bill Heston
University Chaplain,
Howard Payne University
Brownwood, Texas

Dr. William Heston was minister of pastoral care at Houston’s First Baptist Church; clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, and a marriage therapist licensed by the state of Texas. He has also led seminars at First Place Conferences.