When life gets us down one encouraging word can make all the difference. We all need encouragement from time to time. But more than just receiving, our maturity also calls for us to become men of encouragement.
Life is hard. Many days we feel depleted and want to give up.
But then someone comes along and speaks words of life into our soul.
You’re doing a good job! Hang in there! It’s worth it!
And within a moment our motivation is restored. A single word, pat on the back, or knowing look is all it takes to give us the courage to keep going.
To encourage means to come along side someone and offer ourselves to inspire and cheer them on. We instill courage into their hearts.
Cheering an athlete on, for example, is a form of encouragement. We are on the sidelines seeking to fire them up – giving them our hope and support to bring home the win.
We all need encouragement and to grow in giving it where it matters most.
We must tailor it to the need.
For instance, when someone is wrestling with the often complex and messy issues of their sexuality and relationships, simply telling them to pray harder is often more discouraging than encouraging. It’s fine advice but doesn’t speak to the deep need at hand.
True empathy more than mere platitudes is needed for genuine encouragement.
Likewise, encouragement needs to speak to the heart of the other more than their external accomplishments. We are to encourage people and not just what they can do.
What does it look like to see and inspire the best in someone to emerge?
A simple word or action can have a powerful impact. And as men of encouragement we can change the world.
Go encourage one another.