I don’t know about you, but I need encouragement. This week I had three different people stop and take the time to thank me for what I do and encourage me to keep doing what I am doing. A few words of encouragement will last a long time. For me it is like drinking a Red Bull. It’s kind of like putting some drops of water into someone else’s bucket. You never know if their bucket is nearly empty or nearly full. My guess is that most people’s bucket is on the low side and could use some of your drops of encouragement.
Nearly 75% of what people hear is negative. That can wear you down and take a lot of water out of your bucket.
The word encourage means to put courage into. To inspire with courage, spirit, or hope; heartening; to spur on; stimulate, to give help or patronage to: foster.
There are two kinds of encouraging that we can do. The first is impulsive encouragement. It is unplanned, impromptu or spur of the moment. You saw an opportunity and you took advantage. This type of encouragement is important, but often we are too busy to notice these opportunities to encourage someone. We have our own issues and problems and we need our own encouragement and miss those chances to encourage someone.
The second is intentional encouragement. This type of encouragement is planned. You are actively looking for ways to encourage others. You include encouragement in your planning, by listing out names of people that you can encourage in the coming week. You take the time to write a person note, make a phone call or stop by their office. Maybe it is planning a date with your wife or maybe your daughter. This takes a lot of focus and determination to be an intentional encourager.
Intentional encourager’s have the ability to compel others into action, to inspire them to even higher accomplishments. If you have a relationship that is struggling, maybe you need to be more intentional with your encouragement. Maybe you need to pour some of your water into their bucket. It can be as simple as kind words, taking the time to notice something about them. Writing a note letting them know some specific things you appreciate about them.
“A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25 How generous are you with your encouragement? If you are in need of refreshment, maybe you need to refresh someone else first.
An encourager is a helper, someone who walks alongside us to keep us on the road to Christ. Encourager’s minister in a variety of ways. They listen. They affirm our contributions. They put an arm around us. They smile. They challenge and stretch us. They even confront us when necessary.
Take a moment and read Hebrews Chapter 10:23-25.
Who can you encourage today? This week?