Saturday, Sep 26, 2020

Are You a VRP? Do You Bring Life or Drain Life From Others?

"May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains." - 2 Timothy 1:16

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Keiston France
Keiston France
A summa cum laude graduate of North Carolina A&T State University, Keiston France majored in Journalism & Mass Communication and served as the captain on the men's varsity tennis team. Keiston currently works for NASCAR as a developmental tire changer for Chip Ganassi Racing. His favorite Bible verse is 'Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not yet seen.' Hebrews 1:11

They are rare and very hard to come by, but every once in a while, you can spot one. You may find one in the Team Jesus locker room or your family, but, once they are identified, they stick out BIG TIME!

When a “VRP” is around, you feel like a million bucks. They just have a way of making you feel special.

What is a VRP? It is a Very Refreshing Person. These people breathe life into the ordinary and transform it. As lifters, they have the ability to bless others and bring words of encouragement.

I have three model VRPs in my life – my Mother, my Father, and my girlfriend. Every time I talk with them I feel like I have a red cape on my back and big “S” on my chest. They make me feel like Superman because they speak words of life into me – words drenched in hope, not words of death. These aren’t just “make you feel good” words, but “we believe in you” words. What a difference! They see God’s greatness in me. They inspire me. Their encouragement isn’t fake (which can be sniffed out miles away), but is powerful, purpose-filled edification.

If You Don’t Bring Life to Others, What Are You Carrying?

The opposite of a VRP is a VDP. And, unfortunately, VDPs are everywhere a dime a dozen. VDP stands for Very Draining Person. They take chunks of flesh out of you every time you encounter them and they drain the life out of you. VDPs criticize, complain, whine, make excuses, and find faults. That is their natural style of communication. Negative, negative, negative is their approach.

And, there is no relief for them (or you). Their words are laced with destruction and they spew their poison on anyone who dares to listen. Their goal is to pull you down to their level of misery. They don’t have a “glass is half empty” mentality – they have a “glass is completely empty” mentality. VDPs lurk in neighborhoods, teams, churches, and families -basically everywhere you find people. When they walk in the room, you run because they are backing up the truck, getting ready to dump on you.

A Very Refreshing Person in the Bible

bring lifeIn the Bible, Onesiphorus was a Very Refreshing Person. He brought hope and healing. He’s only mentioned twice, both times in 2 Timothy. Obviously, he’s not a popular Bible character, but he was well-known to the apostle Paul because of the encouragement he delivered. In fact, his name actually means “to bring help or profit-bearing.” He did exactly that!

Everybody needs a VRP, and Onesiphorus was one of Paul’s main VRPs. Paul got hammered by others, both Christians and non-Christians. He received the 360-degree pounding often because when he made a stand for the Truth, an attack would always come – as it still does for us today.

During one of Paul’s darkest hours in a Roman prison, Onesiphorus risked his life to find Paul and bring refreshment to him. In the passage, the word “refreshed” means “to cool again.” Onesiphorus was like a breath of fresh air who breathed life into Paul and brought encouragement, hope, and transformation. I love that the verse says “often refreshed.” Onesiphorus made a habit out of refreshing. When Onesiphorus arrived at the jail, Paul probably pumped his hands into the air and screamed, “Yes!” Even the great Apostle Paul needed some good refreshing.

I don’t think you can refresh others too much. I doubt anyone has ever said to a VRP like Onesiphorus, “I am already full of encouragement today. You can take your refreshing elsewhere and find someone else to bless because I’m good! Just move along.”

Refreshers are essential in the body of Christ. Everywhere we turn, there should be examples of followers of Christ refreshing, building, and bringing life to others.

So, What’s The Play Call?

Your words can unlock God’s greatness in others. Let’s commit to infusing life into others through our intentional words of nourishment. Let people feast off your encouragement. Think about it.

  1. Who do you know that is a Very Refreshing Person? How about a Very Draining Person?
  2. Do you see God’s greatness in others? How can that perspective change your relationships?
  3. Why are VRPs so needed in the world of sports? Give examples of how VRPs can transform teams.
  4. What are some specific ways that you can develop a ministry of refreshment?

Honestly, the real question is RUAVRP (Are you a very refreshing person?). The challenge is not whether you have VRPs in your life, but are you one? Do you bring life to people? When you walk into the room, do people run, or do they pump their hands into the air?


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