September 30, 2020

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Do we give much thought to the power of encouragement?  What exactly can this type of support do for those around us?  Encouragement can be verbal or tangible.  In both cases, it can change lives.  

The far-reaching effects of encouragement have no limits.  As for verbal support, words carry an enormous amount of power.  As Proverbs 18:21 tells us, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.”  With this knowledge, let us weigh our words carefully, and administer them wisely.  Someone in our friendship circles may become the next doctor with the cure for cancer.  Or a friend could be lifted from the deep despair of depression.  Both can be from our own words of encouragement.  “I believe in you!” or “I know you can do it!” may be the very words someone needs to hear to re-direct their future, changing what is to come from what would have been.

As much as there are no limits to the impact of encouragement, there is also no area that our words to lift up others is untouchable.  The sinner in heavy chains of bondage needs to hear words of life.  The chaos-stricken family whose marriage is falling apart needs to hear them too.  Even those whose lives are at peace appreciate a boost of extra encouragement from time to time.

As we’re going through our day to day lives, pay attention to those we encounter.

Is there a young student who needs to know we’re going to help him through their learning struggles?  Does a high school student need to know she isn’t a failure?  Does a young mother who is exhausted need to hear that she’s doing a good job?  Or a young father that needs to know his hard work for his family is appreciated?

The unfortunate truth of the present is that the entire globe has taken a beating because of the Coronavirus.  Many schools have closed and children are learning at home, many businesses have closed temporarily or permanently, and the impacts of the home has been great.  Less income causes greater struggles to pay bills, stress has risen, and many people are not okay.  Mandated masks and social distancing plays into this world that is so different from the world all of us knew just a year ago.

Because of these things, encouraging others is more important than ever.  As for tangible, touchable support, humans need connection and support to thrive, and it should be a challenge or goal we take on personally to help our fellow man.  May our encouragement be to say words of life, to offer a shoulder to cry on, to give a hug or take the time to listen.  Maybe a young mother could use a helping hand, or we could bless a young father with a few extra dollars to help with groceries when times are hard.

Today is a great day to keep our eyes and hearts open to opportunities to bless others with encouragement.  And what’s really beautiful about it?  It will bless us too.

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