There are some people in the world who make you feel, and believe that you can do anything. I happened to be married to such a man. He is an encourager, and consistently encourages me “to be everything I was made to be”.
The definition of an encourager is someone “who gives support, confidence and hope to others. They spur on, stir up and embolden those around them”.
I have never heard my husband say, “it’s not possible to do that”, or it’s too hard. Instead when people are around him he draws out their dreams, aspirations and the plan of God on their lives. Then he simply encourages. Sometimes that might mean he challenges people where they are at; encouraging them to not settle or remain living in fear. But he always encourages with the purpose of inspiring and firing up buried dreams and vision. That’s what encouragers do! As C.S Lewis so aptly put “You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream”
In life we can often only see the reasons why we can’t, or shouldn’t attempt to do something; and it’s at these times that we all need encouragement. For to really live, and not just exist takes a lot of courage, and “to live in courage requires encouragement.” (Bill Johnson)
The power of encouragement is astounding in the effect it can have. Do you ever think of the positive power of your words and actions, and how they can effect others? What would happen to the world around us (our family, friends, and work colleagues) if they could always feel encouraged?
Imagine what a difference it would make if we created a culture of encouragement and empowering in our community, and learnt how to harness the potential and power of encouragement in our daily interaction.
The power of encouragement brings benefits to both the giver and the recipient.
1. It keeps people going, helping them to achieve things they would not have thought possible on their own.
2. It lifts people up and makes them feel better about themselves, their lives and their future.
3. It helps to dissolve self-doubt and builds self-esteem.
We have the ability to empower and encourage others just by a kind word, a touch, and a smile that can literally transform someone’s life.
Don’t underestimate the power of encouragement in your life, or the effect your encouragement can have on the lives of others.
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” (Leo Buscaglia)
Here are a few thoughts on how we can practically encourage those around us, and a reminder of how powerful encouragement is:
Words of encouragement: The bible says, in Proverbs 16:24, “pleasant words bring healing to the bones”. God knows the significance of our words, and how powerful they are. We can literally bring healing, hope and life to someone’s life by the words we speak,or a simple written note, text or message of encouragement.
Our presence: Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.” But He also often sends someone on His behalf, and it’s the presence of simply having someone there to offer a hug, or steadying hand that encourages people when they really need it. Jesus constantly touched people, including “untouchables” like lepers. Medical studies have documented the positive effects of touch; anything from a light touch on the shoulder, to a big “bear hug” can communicate that we care and give encouragement.
Practical Help: Helpers use ordinary skills to encourage others. They fix things that are broken, sew or mend, do odd jobs, arrive with a home cooked meal, rock a baby for a tired mum, drive people to the doctor, or show up with their ute, and trailer when somebody needs to move or needs a “tip run” done.
Giving: Proverbs 21:26 says, “the righteous person gives without sparing.” When we give we take the opportunity to encourage in situations where money, food, clothing, or the loan of equipment will better lift people out of their encouragement. It can also be simply giving a bunch of flowers, or producing a regular supply of lemons from the garden.
Open up our homes: When we are hospitable, and open our homes to others, it changes from just “entertaining”, to loving people by providing a meal or bed. People’s lives often cause them to need a place to come to. People need encouragement when they are hurting from marriage breakups, financial problems, family difficulties, or physical challenges. When we “open the door” of our homes it brings the gift of encouragement to those most needing it.
Prayer: Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 1:1, “You help us by your prayers.” We can hugely encourage others by our prayers. By showing we care, and taking the time to pray. God hears our prayers and wants us to pray for each other.
We far too often surmise that the need is too great, and think, “what can I do anyway?” But “If we did all the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves.” (Thomas Edison).
Encourage someone today, and reap the benefit of knowing you are inspiring and bringing a little bit of sunshine, and courage to someone who needs it.
“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” (William James)
Prayer: Lord please help me to receive encouragement when I need it, and also help me to use what I have to encourage and bring courage and hope to others each day. In Jesus Name Amen