I had the wonderful privilege of attending Blue Mountain College in my early twenties, preparing educationally for a life of ministry. Chapel attendance was important at BMC and the lessons which transpired from attendance were highly regarded. One such discourse I recall came from a woman who presented a talk on two manners of people: Balcony People vs. Basement People.  To this day, I remember, not only the magnitude of the lady’s message, but the life changing implications her conversation awarded.

Balcony people are best described as encouraging individuals, while basement people are portrayed as pessimistic. I have entertained both types of persons in my life, resulting in both positive and negative influences. Nevertheless, the lessons I have learned remain transformative to this day.

Balcony People

Throughout my life, there have been countless doors open to engage in both ministry and job related opportunities. I remember a number of persons who would stand on their balconies—leaning over, to cheer faithfully, as I ran my race relentlessly. Both immediate family, as well as church family members, pastors, friends and professors, have all contributed to my pursuits, as great encouragers.

Lessons Learned/And Blessings Obtained as a result of Balcony People in my life.

Through their example, I have learned how to encourage others in a positive way while experiencing the lasting effects on all involved.

Through their influence, I have been encouraged, as well as motivated, to go the extra mile while giving my best to the race set before me.

As a positive result of Balcony People:  I realize the significance of being affirmative and supportive in individual lives. I have also been inspired to cheer others on in their journey, as I have witnessed for my own life.

Basement People

I believe everyone, at some point or another, has experienced individuals in their lives who have delivered discouragement to dreams, gifts, and even special callings. The Bible conveys the Pharisees who doubted, debated and even discouraged others. I too have experienced the disrespects of Pharisees in my own life. Though time will not permit me to list such affronts, time does allow me to share lessons learned from such persons.

Lessons Learned/And Blessings Obtained from Basement People in my life.

Through Basement people, I saw a picture of destructiveness, helping me not to pursue such conducts. There is no solution in pessimism, only a lack of belief.

Through their influence, I have learned not to allow people’s unbelief to impact my walk, guide my path, or even shape my thinking. I realized early on in my life that God can open doors, or He can close them, in spite of what others might believe. The skepticism of people has no authority to stop what God has divinely called.

As a positive result of Basement People,  I have come to learn how imperative it is to love and pray for those who hold to a form of negativity in their lives toward others. I have furthermore derived that even though such individuals may exist in our lives, we should never give power to them.

An example in the Bible of a balcony person –vs- a basement person is found in the book of Nehemiah. A great man of God had been called to rebuild the ruins of his home town. It was a huge yet risky task, to say the least. However Nehemiah committed to the task at hand.  As soon as he began God’s work, trouble persisted. Not once but several times individuals attempted to derail the work of this man of God. They doubted, discouraged and even disheartened the people who were assisting the labor. At one point, these persons, whom I will call, “basement people,” ordered Nehemiah to come down from his work. Yet the man of God refused to give in to their bluff.

Now when it was reported to Sanballat, Tobiah, to Geshem the Arab and to the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall, and that no breach remained in it, although at that time I had not set up the doors in the gates, then Sanballat and Geshem sent a message to me, saying, “Come, let us meet together at Chephirim in the plain of Ono.” But they were planning to harm me. So I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?” (Nehemiah 6:1-3 NASB)

The same question could be conveyed today, in regards to man’s attempts to discourage our race.  “Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?” We must keep moving forward with God, no matter what.

Do you have someone in your church whom God is using greatly? Cheer him or her on! Do you have an individual pursing a call from God? Lean way over your balcony and shout loudly, “I am praying for you.” Encouragement always breeds hope, while discouragement generates hopelessness. Choose today to inspire others to live their lives fully in Christ.

One final thought and a word of caution: Be careful not to seek the approval, or even the cheers of others. Even though having balcony people in one’s life is important, it is God’s cheers that  trump man’s applause.  He is the biggest, yet most important, balcony person of all, and at the end of the day, it is His Words that most matter.


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