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“Remember Bozo… the clown punching bag? Bozo stands straight and tall and always bounces back. Then, eventually, its harder and harder for Bozo to bounce back. He’s older and tired and losing air. The blows are harder to bounce back from. He tries but is deflated,” she texted.

“Yes. Nice metaphor,” he responded.

 

What does one do with a deflated clown? What does one do if the clown is you? How do you reinstall yourself?

For Christians, there is guidance in the Bible.

Apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesian Church (Eph 6:22) “I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage your hearts.” In this passage, we learn that people may be sent our way to encourage us in our walk—to re-inflate us.

To the Thessalonians, Apostle Paul wrote:(1Th 5:11)  “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” Here we see that we are to work as a team to encourage one another. We need not wait for someone from somewhere else to come to us, but we encourage others within our church family.

To Timothy, a pastor and teacher and evangelist, Apostle Paul wrote: (1Ti 5:1)  “Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers. . .”  Encouragement, to re-inflate a deflated punching bag, to re-invigorate one who’s lost zest in activity and productivity, takes a gentle tongue.

It is my experience that re- inflating Bozo is possible through encouragement. It works. The punching bag first wants to be re-inflated. Like the old joke about how many psychiatrists it takes to change a light bulb, it only takes one but the light bulb has to want to change. This means that a deflated Bozo is easier to re/inflate when there is no sharp tongue to lash out at potential inflaters. How easy it is for us to bite the hand that offered us encouragement. “You don’t understand!” sounds simple enough, and as though it wouldn’t be a problem But it’s indicative of something more, something deeper. It’s saying, “YOU CAN/T HELP ME!” It’s jabbing a fork in someone’s offer of help.

Another thought, a deflated individual can have a tendency to pull the person who is attempting to encourage them down into their pit of hell. Rather than being inflated, standing up tall again, it’s perhaps easier to not face the baggage that was helping weigh them down, so they attempt to bring others around them to their low level. A sharpe tongue, a snide remark, a caustic word comes to heir lips.

As will all things these days, we are not at war with people. For as Apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesians, and to us: (Eph 6:12-18″ “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,”

Lord Bless, Keep, Shine upon y’all . . .