Encouragement is one of the greatest forces in the world! It transforms perspective, communicates love and puts the courage in us that is necessary to move forward in life. Encouragers change the world. A little encouragement can provide the strength to make dreams reality and endurance possible. I am pretty certain that anything valuable I have done in life has been powered by the encouragement of those around me. We all hunger and thirst for encouragement and when it comes to us we soak it up like a sponge.
Here are three ways that are helping me be intentional with my encouragement…
1. Spot the good.
What we sometimes forget is that we each have the power to train our eyes to see what we want them to see. We choose our focus. For example, I had never noticed blue, Honda, SUV’s until I bought one – then I saw them everywhere! Where were they before? They were right there but because they were outside of the focus of my attention and I could not see them. One of life’s greatest skills is to intentionally prepare our minds to see what we want to see.
What if we all went on a covert mission to detect the good in those around us? What if we dialed our focus in on the good that others do and the good in how they do what they do?
In any given situation there is more good present than we are currently aware of, put on the lens’ of the Encourager and become a detective searching for the good.
2. Let no good thought go unspoken.
When you see something good – communicate it! Far too often we notice and believe good things about people but do not communicate to them. As a Pastor I have sat near the bedside of dying patients who ask me pass on words of kindness about the goodness of their loved ones. I am happy to pass on their words, but I often think to myself, “How sad! You should have told them yourself!” What a tragic commentary on our world that so many of the kindest words spoken about people are spoken only at their funerals! If you see good – declare it! If you think it’s good – speak about it!
3. Rejoice with those who rejoice.
This can be quite challenging. Often times the junk (jealousy, comparison, pride) in our own hearts makes celebrating with others and for others difficult.
My 9 year-old daughter is the world’s greatest giggler (this video is the early evidence!)
She needs only the slightest hint of an excuse and she will smile and laugh. Her happy voice has lifted my heart at the end of many long days. Recently I decided to embark on experiment – I would giggle and laugh whenever she did. What a cycle that created! What fun and what silliness! I think the only person that enjoyed it more than me was her. When someone partners with us in our happiness it not only doubles our joy it injects love into our hearts. The result is encouragement.
Try this: when you hear someone laugh or giggle join in with them. When you hear of someone’s success or luck or happiness celebrate with them. Rejoice with the others and encouragement will come alive in both of you!
In a world of many tragedies and injustices, it may just be that the greatest force for change is the encouragement you will spread!
Listen to some more thoughts on the power of encouragement here
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.