You have a tool at your disposal that can make an incredible difference in the life of your child, spouse, congregation, or the people you work with.
Your encouragement can make such a difference in the life of another.
Yet, for some reason, some people seem to make no effort to encourage another. Instead, they are draining, lifeless, and even discouraging.
Let me challenge you to choose to be encouraging.
Communicate words of encouragement.
Words are extremely powerful (Proverbs 3:27-28).
Encouragers look for ways to compliment and to affirm. What is this person doing right? What is she doing that adds value to the people around her. Do you know how many people long to hear a “well done”?
Express the high value of another person.
We encourage when we speak to one another in a way that communicates dignity and respect. When we do this, we are telling another “I value you.”
My friend Doug once said it like this (regarding a man we both looked up to): “He talks to you as if you were a very important person. He makes you want to come up to a higher standard.” Recently, a young woman mentioned a couple that they have been friends with for a long time. She said, “They have a way of elevating the conversations.”
I know a school teacher who once interacted with a young girl in her first grade class and discovered that she was very poor. She had no father present. She wore small flip-flops to school and large dresses, regardless of the weather. One day she wore a dress held together by diaper pins. This teacher arranged for this girl to finally have some clothes that fit her. A lady at the teacher’s church bought new shoes for the girl.
A lady at church gave that teacher money for clothes and then some shoes. One day, Charlotte asked the kids: “If you could wish for one thing for Christmas, what would it be? One girl said, “I wish my daddy could get out of prison.” Another girl said, “I wish we had a car.” The six-year-old who had been wearing diaper pins on her dresses said, “I wish I had a doll.” She told her teacher that she had never had a doll. A gentleman at the teacher’s church saw to it that she got a doll.
One day she asked her teacher: “Why are all of these good things happening to me?” She continued to press and finally her teacher said, “There are some nice people who love God who have bought these things.” Then this little girl said: “God is nice. I think I like God.”
What had happened? This teacher had expressed high value to this little girl.
Pay attention to the work of God in others lives.
Have you seen God take the worst of the circumstances in your life and turn them into good news? Have you seen God turn a frustrating person into someone who has become sweet and considerate?
We can learn to pay attention to what God is doing and then encourage others where he seems to be at work.
Picture a special future for another person.
There are times when you must wonder if you are doing anything right at all. Are you getting through? Yet, to encourage is to envision what a person could become in Christ. It is to believe that we are not limited by our mistakes, bad habits, or vulnerabilities. Encouragers believe that in Christ, people really can change.
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