Praise, support, inspiration, reassurance

Correction does much, but encouragement does more. von Goethe

There is nothing better than the encouragement of a good friend.Katharine Butler Hathaway

Taking an interest in what others are thinking and doing is often a much more powerful form of encouragement than praise. Robert Martin

     A little bit of encouragement can do wonders. Whether it is encouragement we give to others or we receive from someone else, it is usually in rather short supply. As a rule we are more apt and prone to discourage others than we are to encourage them. We tend to take the air out of someone rather than putting our effort into pumping them up, uplifting them, and empowering them to confidently take on their challenges.

     Chances are all of us can think back to someone who encouraged us when we needed encouraging the most. We may have been at low ebb, facing a tough decision, or deeply involved in a crisis. We doubted ourselves and our ability to overcome and triumph over whatever our difficulty was. A loved one or a friend saw our need to be encouraged so they stepped up and gave us what we needed. They encouraged us and enabled us to believe in ourselves and that helped to make a very big difference. It is very likely we can remember many times where we found ourselves in need of encouragement and instead of being encouraged we were discouraged by those we know as our friends and loved ones. It would have taken so little on their part to have said kind and encouraging words that may have made the difference. Instead, between our own doubts and fears and their insensitivity to our need, we fell short and did not have what was required to overcome the difficulty that was facing us.

     It is very likely at least on some occasions, we have fallen short of providing encouragement to our friends and loved ones when they needed us to be there for them. We may have been too busy, too focused on ourselves, or failed to be sufficiently sensitive to their needs. Hopefully, there have been those times when we did rise to the occasion and provided the encouragement that was much needed. What we say and do and what we do not say and do, can make such a difference in the lives of others. Encouraging those around us is something each of should be doing routinely. We are practicing the Golden Rule when we provide encouragement. If we can value and appreciate being encouraged, we can appreciate what our words of encouragement can do when someone is in need of our help.

Challenge: The older and wiser you get, the more you should be aware of not only the needs of others, but all the ways you have opportunities to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Always focusing on yourself and your needs will prevent you from becoming the wonderful person you are capable of becoming. Being a person who encourages others is a wonderful and fruitful way for you to be a good citizen and a good steward.

Wisdom: Always be generous with your encouraging words, you may find they will inspire others to be the best they can be. Catherine Pulsifer

Spiritual: (NIV)

Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. Psalm 31:24

You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. Psalm 128:2

To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness. Ecclesiastes 2:26

Many words of encouragement can be found in the Bible. God speaks through the Bible as a means to encourage us to live righteous, joyous, and fulfilling lives. Our Heavenly Father wants nothing but the best for each of us. He is there to encourage us throughout our lives. Most of us have a very hard time listening to what he says. We are too stubborn and hard headed. Love is at the heart of encouragement. God is the source of Love.

Prayer: Help me to learn to encourage others.


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