If You Want to Live as an Encourager

(Part 1)

If you want to live as an encourager:

1.  Know that your smile really makes a difference.  God can use you to actually brighten someone’s day through your smile.

2.  Know that many people are just one step away from significant life change.  That difference may come as God uses you to encourage.

3.  Know that God uses encouragers who are single and married, rich and poor, old and young.  Never assume that God will not use you to significantly encourage someone because you appear to be so different from that person.

4.  Know that an encouraging word can make an incredible difference to someone who is discouraged.  Meanwhile, a negative or harsh word can crush another and be remembered for many, many years.

5.  Know that the encouragement someone receives from another can actually alter the course of that person’s life.  Such encouragement can help give a person the courage to make a difficult decision or take the next step.

6.  Know that Barnabas (in the book of Acts) was called the “son of encouragement” and played a critical role in encouraging others in the earliest churches.

7.  Know that an encourager tries to catch another person doing right and affirms the person and the behavior.  For you to recognize and affirm the behavior of another could be huge.  

8.  Know that the role of encourager is about cheering other people on.  Think about how good it feels to know that someone is in your corner, cheering you on, and wanting you to do well.

9.  Know that an encourager avoids one of the most deadly responses that one can make: silence.  I wonder how many people have served and made themselves vulnerable only to be met with a chilly silence by others. 

10.  Know that the encouragement you give may seem unimportant.  I was in my early years of college and while I went to church, my lifestyle at the time was not one of obedience.  Yet, I recall a man at church who seemed to notice me whenever I was there.  He didn’t say anything particularly memorable or profound.  He would look at me when I came through the front doors and smile and wave.  On most occasions he would shake my hand.  As I look back, I think his attention gave me some encouragement.

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