Criticism and complaint seem to be the order of the day. It is easy for us to get into the habit of complaining, finding fault, and being generally disagreeable. One thing is sure you and I have a choice. It is just as easy to be an encourager as it to be a complainer. I understand that it is appropriate to ask questions, give honest assessments, and voice our disagreement. Please remember that everyone needs encouragement. You have never met a person who doesn’t need to hear a word of encouragement. There seems to be no shortage of life events that bring challenges and setbacks.
How do I know about the power of encouragement? I have been on the receiving end of encouragement throughout my life. There are conversations that, to quote the Bible, have been like: “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver is a ruling rightly given.” (Proverbs 25:11)
As a teenager, I lived in a home without a Father. I still remember when my junior high Sunday School teacher came up to me after a Sunday evening service and asked me if I would like to go with him to the father and son banquet? I will never forget how I felt and what a difference it made in my life having someone interested in me, who did not have to but did so anyway. Joe just recently passed away; he was in his 90’s. Whenever I hear his name or see him, I remember the impact of his encouraging act of kindness in my life, and I am forever grateful.
Along the way, there have been people who extended their prayers, finances, time, and assistance when they were under no obligation to do so. Yet, they were in my life difference makers. There are times that I reflect on the goodness of God and the kindness of others, and I wonder: have I encouraged others as I have been encouraged down through the years?
What would happen if we decided to be encouragers? I do know that if we made our job to be an encourager we will never be unemployed!
How to be an encourager:
- Be intentional Set a goal each day that you will proactively seek to bless and encourage 3-5 people.
- Notes and texts Though there are some that feel handwritten notes are the best, encouragement is effective regardless of the method of delivery.
- Be random Pay for the coffee of the person in line behind you. Random acts of kindness bless and encourage others as well.
- Words Never underestimate the power your words have on your family, friends, and for that matter even with strangers.
- Prayer Not only saying “I am praying for you” it is quite impactful when you stop what you are doing and actually pray for them on the spot.
- Scripture There have been times when someone shared a Bible verse with me that was just what I needed that moment that both blessed and encouraged me.
- Thank people for the way they have encouraged you! In my lifetime I was able to tell several people how much I appreciated the impact that they had on me. Do you have someone in your life who has encouraged you that you need to let them know the impact they have had on your life?
- Love people If you develop or have a heart for people, encouragement will become second nature to you.
- Be empathetic. Think of others, try to put yourself in their shoes. Look at things from thier perspective.
These are just a few of the ways that you could become an encourager. One side benefit of being an encourager is that you receive encouragement as you bless others.
I would love to build a team of encouragers who will daily make a difference! How about you are you willing to join the team? You are needed!