Encourage Others

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”  (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

Why do most people leave a job? Why do kids often run away from home or not give their best? Why do many marriages end in divorce? Why the high level of dissatisfaction and discontentment among workers in the marketplace? I don’t want to oversimplify the answer, but in many situations the missing ingredient is encouragement.

To encourage means to urge forward, to come alongside another person in a way that brings hope for the future.  It’s helping someone see beyond the darkness of a moment or season.  It’s spurring someone on, giving them confidence and helping them to believe in themselves.   Our words, even our non-verbal communications, have a tremendous impact on others.  Choose to be the person who intentionally encourages others.  With every interaction, you choose to be a +, -, or =.  When you leave another person’s presence, you have either added something to them, taken something from them, or made no difference at all.  Be the one who always adds encouragement, lifts spirits, and brings hope.  In so doing, you represent Jesus Christ and bring Him glory.

10 Tips for spreading encouragement:

  1. Be positive and hopeful yourself.  Start your day with time alone with God, allowing Him to encourage and refresh you.  You can’t share what you don’t have.  God may give you a word that certainly encourages you, but He will often prompt you to share that word with others.
  2. When someone says, “How are you?” respond with a positive answer.  I am______! (Great, fantastic, better than good, super, refreshed and ready for the day, excited, etc.)  Your answer will surprise and encourage them.
  3. Make comments and ask questions that show you care about them, their family, their plans, and their tasks.  Give them solid eye contact and communicate real concern.
  4. Listen well.  If you ask questions but don’t listen, others will know you don’t really care.
  5. Write a note.  Handwritten notes are most meaningful.  Just a couple of sentences is all you need.  At the very least, email them a note.
  6. Leave a short voicemail.
  7. Share a brief story that helps them change their perspective.  It could be a personal experience, a scene from a movie, a story from the Bible, etc.
  8. As appropriate, ask, “How may I pray for you?”   Pray then or later, and remember to inquire later.
  9. Give someone a book that you know they will enjoy.  “I saw this book and thought you would like it.”
  10. Make someone smile or laugh.  We all need to lighten up and enjoy life more.  Comedian Victor Borge said,“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.”

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”  Deuteronomy 31:8

Jeff Wilson

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