Berean Blog

How To See Past Our Differences to Cheer Each Other On

How do you respond to the people in your life? Do you look for reasons to draw you together? Or, do you only tend to see the differences? Do you cheer others on? Or, do you look for ways to criticize when they do things differently than you? The way you respond to others matters!

by Emily Harper on May 10, 2022


I have a secret. Now, I wonder if I should even share this with you because it might make you think differently of me. Perhaps it will even change our relationship. But if you choose to read this post all the way through, thank you for putting differences aside.

I’m an avid Green Bay Packers fan!

My mom has also been a Packers fan her entire life, as she grew up in Wisconsin. She’s a devoted fan, but if you watched a game with her, you wouldn’t be overwhelmed by her cheering. Don’t get me wrong, she LOVES the Packers, but she’s not going to constantly rub her team pride in your face.

I’ve taken after her. My husband (a Minnesota Vikings fan) and I had been married for less than two months when the Packers were in the Super Bowl. We hosted a party, and while I was watching my team compete for the Vince Lombardi Trophy, I was also surrounded by a lot of other Vikings fans. I cheered, but it wasn’t over the top. It’s what I learned from my mom. It’s what she modeled for me.

You may or may not know that the Packers did not make it to the Super Bowl this year – they lost in the playoffs to the 49ers.

While dealing with the disappointment of the loss, I got the chance to model to my youngest - who has become a Packers fan herself - how to lose gracefully.

This experience got me thinking about parenting. When a Packers game began, my mom never said to me, “This is how you cheer for a team.” She just cheered in the way that she did (which she probably got from my Grandpa), and I took my own mental notes and followed in her footsteps.

Now, I know some of you are not into sports at all, and you are probably about ready to close this post and move on because you aren’t sure you can stick with my sports analogy – or worse yet, my attempt to use the Green Bay Packers as my analogy. But stick with me - we are pivoting right now!

The best choice for you may not be the best for someone else.

So, how do you cheer for others in life? No, not your favorite sports team - real actual people you come in contact with on a daily basis. How are you cheering on your friends and your family members? How are you cheering on your church family?

I don’t know if you’ve noticed this lately, but we've been living in precarious times (Oh, hey there pandemic!). It seems that we have countered these uncertain times with the need to be certain of so many other things.

To be honest, we are certainly not short on choices to make these days. Are you pregnant? Has anyone offered advice on home birth vs. hospital birth? Epidural vs. no epidural? And then once the baby is born it’s like a fire hose of decisions gets sprayed on you that never turns off. How are you going to feed your baby? Are you going to vaccinate? Does the baby sleep in a crib right away? Are you going to make your own baby food? Will you buy organic? Will you let your baby cry it out?

As kids get older, the questions keep coming. Will they play sports right away? Public school? Private school? Home school? Charter school? Music lessons? Dance? Gymnastics? Hockey?

The problem isn't the questions we face. Rather, as we're making decisions based on what's right for our family, we begin to think that our decisions are the best for everyone . . . but they aren't. Let that sink in.


Focus on listening and understanding rather than criticizing.

The decisions you make in your family are not necessarily the right decisions for every family. If we are seeking God in the decisions we make, he is going to call us all to different choices.

My kids are in fourth grade, first grade, and Kindergarten this year. God has called us to the public school. We have had fantastic experiences with our school and the staff there. We feel very fortunate for this school. However, we know that not everyone has had the same experience at their neighborhood public school. When we hear that a family has chosen to home school or send their kids to a private school or a charter school, our reaction should be to CHEER THEM ON for making the decision that is going to help their children thrive.

Set an example for those in your sphere of influence.

Here's the thing – if we can’t cheer each other on from inside the church, we are teaching our kids that the only people they can cheer for are those who do everything in the exact same way as they do. We teach them that they can’t be friends with anyone who does anything differently. We create division in the very place where we come to worship our Heavenly Father, and division certainly will not lead to a thriving church for years to come.

God has been laying this topic on my heart for a while, and as I started to write, I finally realized why – because he wanted me to really understand this. I can be very quick to judge others for doing things differently than I would. I am very quick to think that I have the best answers to something.

God has shown me that I need to lay my preconceived notions aside and instead take out my megaphone and cheer for those around me.

I want my daughters to cheer for each other. I want them to cheer for their friends, their extended family, and their church family. But I have to model that for them. I need to set an example.

Come alongside one another and be the Church.

So, what does this look like in our everyday lives? I really wished that at this point in my post I would have had four awesome application points for how to cheer for those around you. In fact, for days I tried to think of some. Then, I realized this – much like God calls each of our families to unique circumstances, he has called you to relationships that look different than mine. The best advice I have is this: Pray with your friends, model this to your kids, and then CELEBRATE your friends in ways that model to your kids what it looks like to come alongside one another.

Let’s encourage one another. Let’s support each other. Let’s love each other. Let’s help to lay a foundation for our kids where they know that they will be cheered on, loved, and prayed for. Let’s be the Church!

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Tags: church of god, love one another, be the church, agree to disagree, encourage one another, church blog, christian blog, pray for one another, share hope, faith blog, churches in lakeville, berean baptist church, churches in burnsville, churches in apple valley, inspirational blog, build each other up, christian living blog, cheer each other on, set aside differences, listen with love, listen with understanding, loving those with whom we don't agree, walk in unity, come alongside one another, celebrate one another, support each other

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