Friends

Have you ever had a day where everything goes wrong, and suddenly, God speaks comfort and hope to your weary soul?  It is exactly what you need in that moment.  Perhaps it is a realization that your bad day is not nearly as rotten as somebody else’s.  It may come in the form of a song, a Bible verse on Twitter, or a reassuring Facebook post or a Text of care.

Words are powerful.  We have all, no doubt, been wounded at some point by careless, unkind or mean statements.  Their effect on our lives, even years later, is undeniable. No matter how much we deny it, it still makes us cringe to remember the taunts of the second-grade bully on the playground and makes us want to crawl under a rock to think of that rumor spreading through the high school hallways.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 NLT says, “So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.”  Mark Twain once said, "I can live two months on one good compliment."

I just love when others encourage me.  Isn’t it great to be around someone whose words are encouraging and edifying?  Someone who makes you feel good because of their words that build you up and bring you grace just when you need it?

One of the most attractive and healing personalities in the world is an individual who can spread grace, and blessing, and build up others with encouraging words.  You see, anybody can tear down with destructive words, but God’s people should build up!

I was in line at a grocery store one time and there was a lady there with several small children.  I guess those children had gotten the best of her because she got so angry with them.  She lit into those kids with her words, just damaging them and cursing them.  And I thought, “Those little children are growing up with words that tear down instead of build up!”

With your children, with your spouse, or with anyone, use words that encourage.  Even when you have a disagreement, you can disagree agreeably.  Don’t let your emotions control your reactions but be intent on showing restorative grace to others just as God shows it to you!

People need your praise and affirmation.  Be generous with your gift of encouragement and always be on the lookout for opportunities to lift someone’s spirits. 

I often think about Life as a team sport, and all of us need occasional pats on the back from our teammates.  As Christians we are called upon to spread the Good News of Christ, and we are also called to spread a message of encouragement and hope to the world.

Whether you realize it or not, many people with whom you come in contact every day are in desperate need of a smile or an encouraging word.  The world can be a difficult place, and countless friends and family members may be troubled by the challenges of everyday life.  Since you don’t always know who needs our help, the best strategy is to try to encourage all the people who cross your path.  We do have the ability to encourage or discourage each other with the words we say.  To maintain a positive mood, our hearts must be in good condition.

I recently went through a season of discouragement.  Just at the point where I thought I would break, there was the Holy Spirit with just the right word or phrase, the perfect Scripture or song.  It felt like the Lord had just wrapped His arms around me.

It’s wonderful when our spirits are lifted by others, but when the Holy Spirit, Himself inspires us, it is precious.  What an honor it is when He makes a point to lift me up.  In those moments, I feel especially loved.

Christian, the same Holy Spirit dwells within each one of us.  He will tenderly nudge you with comfort, peace and joy.  Keep an eye out for those special instances of grace and mercy.  Let’s show our gratitude by extending that same gift to others.

As vessels of the Spirit, we should overflow with the very same support to others.  Words of encouragement and hope should spill over onto those who are near.  We don’t want to miss any opportunity that God gives us to bless our brothers and sisters with Spirit-filled kindness.  The hope I need is the hope I need to share.

So, I want to share three things you can do to become an ENCOURAGER:

• Commit to encouragement!

Starting right now, decide you are going “buildup” other people around you.  Can you imagine the impact that would have in your life?  Let me give you an example of this.  The name of Pau’s companion, Barnabas, literally meant “son of encouragement.”  Think about what kind of influence would you have if you committed to be a son or daughter of encouragement.

Value other people!

People are valuable to God.  Then people should be valuable to you.  An encourager works hard at bringing out the best in others.

•Focus on what is really the question!

To become an encourager, you may have to change your priorities, adjust your agenda, and focus on the fact that people are more valuable to God than our crammed - up schedules.

So, start today by saying words like” “I believe in you...”  I am grateful for you...”  I see God using you...”  “I appreciate you...”  “I am glad you are in my...”

So today, be a world-class source of encouragement to everyone you meet.  Never has the need been greater.

Make Every Day Count!

Barry

Come start the Summer with us and become an ENCOURAGER!