“The angel of the Lord appeared to [Gideon] and said, ‘Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!'” -Judges 6:12

There is a tendency in most of us to withhold praise and encouragement until it’s actually earned. This makes a lot of sense. After all, if a person or plan fails miserably, congratulations would be rather unwarranted.

Why is it, though, that God often does just the opposite with us? Indeed, with Gideon, the man is NOT a hero when God comes to him. Quite the contrary, he’s basically hiding in a pit from the bad guys. Curious, then, that God comes to him not with judgement or anger for not standing up and taking action, but with preemptive praise, knowing that in time, he will.

What would happen in my life if I began to treat others this way?

What would happen in yours?

What would happen in marriages and families and churches and companies if we started to see people as God sees them, and let them know?

Perhaps then they – and we – would be free to become the “Mighty heroes” God made us to be…