Saturday, September 19, 2020

Are You An Encourager?

Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord's people. Philemon 1:7

Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, 
because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord's people. 
Philemon 1:7

Are You An Encourager?

The world needs more encouragers these days. It doesn't take much to offer a pat on the back, but it reignites the fire and lifts the spirit of someone who's struggling.

As Gary Chapman states in his book, The Five Love Languages,  "Many noble pursuits await the encouragement of a friend." Imagine what wonderful things might occur when you offer someone a bit of encouragement!

Encouragement Doesn't Always Mean Agreement

My mom was a great encourager. When I was a child, she didn't always agree with my crazy ideas, but, as long as it wasn't harmful, she always offered encouragement and support. I'm sure there were times she struggled to keep from telling me my idea wouldn't work, but I don't remember a single time she discouraged me. 

As a side note, there was one time she regretted deferring judgment. We were visiting family friends who had kittens that were ready to find new homes. I begged to adopt one of the kittens. Instead of saying no, she told me to ask my dad. Now, mind you, my dad grew up on a farm and felt that animals shouldn't be pets. It's a miracle we ever had pets as children (and we had quite a few!). So I'm sure Mom figured she was just passing the buck and that he would put a quick end to my pleading. Both she and I were quite surprised when he agreed to let me take the kitten! 

Encouragement Gives Confidence

My mom's continuous support helped to give me confidence to try new things. I'm a pretty cautious person, usually over-thinking things, so her support helped to move me along. 

When one of my great plans failed, Mom was there to diminish the disappointment and to build me back up. Soon, I'd be on to the next great plan. All of those failures - just as the successes - make me what I am today. I can't imagine where I'd be or what my life would be like if I hadn't had such a cheerleader in my mother.

One More Thought

If being an encourager isn't your normal M.O., give it a try today. Open your eyes to opportunities to "refresh the heart" of people you encounter. It can be a small gesture, but pay attention to the reaction that gesture makes and come back and let me know 💗

Everyone has inside them a piece of good news. The good news is you don't know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is.


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