Garden BenchesPraise, 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. It is can be encouragement we give to others or encouragement we receive from someone else, it is usually warmly received and not in abundant supply. As a rule we are more apt and prone to discourage than we are to encourage. 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 we can think back to someone who encouraged us when we needed it. We may have been at low ebb, facing tough decisions, or deeply involved in crisis. We doubted ourselves and our ability to overcome and triumph over whatever challenged us. 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 just enough to make a big difference. It is likely we can remember times when we found ourselves needy of encouragement and instead of being encouraged we were discouraged by those who are our friends and loved ones. It would have taken so little on their part to have said some kind and encouraging words. Between our own doubts and fears and their insensitivity to our need, we fell short and did not have what we needed to overcome the difficulty that faced us. Throughout our lives others have failed to encourage us and we have failed to encourage others just as well.

     It is more than likely we have failed many times in providing encouragement to friends and loved ones when they needed us to be there. We may have been too busy, too focused on ourselves, or failed to be sufficiently sensitive to their needs. Hopefully, there has been many 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 in fact practicing the Golden Rule whenever we provide encouragement. If we really value and appreciate being encouraged, we can appreciate what our words of encouragement can do when someone need us to reach out to them.

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

Wisdom: Always be generous with your encouraging words, you may find they will inspire others to be the best they can be. C. 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 always 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 just as you are always encouraging me.

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