The word encouragement basically means to ‘put in courage.’ The roads of life are bumpy and full of potholes, and can cause rips and tears and punctures in our ‘tyres’. Jesus knows exactly how it is – He walked the earth and plainly stated, ‘each day has enough troubles of its own’ (Matthew 6:34 NIV). What better way to repair the damage to the tyres than to seal the holes with some encouragement?
But everybody’s wired in their own unique way and will appreciate different mixes of encouragement: words of affirmation, spending quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service (yes, that’s doing the dishes, cleaning the gross fish tank) and physical touch (a pat on the back, a good solid handshake, a hug for a good friend…) are all ways of going about it.
Take the time to find out how best to encourage those people around you, and you might find it revolutionises your relationships. Have you noticed someone make a positive change in their life? Don’t keep it to yourself, affirm them – it could be the thing that keeps them heading in the right direction.
So what now? Hebrews 3:13 (NIV) says, ‘… encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.’ Take up the challenge today – look at the people you have around you and ask God to help you be a useful encouragement to them when they need it. You could even make a habit of it.
SoulFood: 1 Sam 27-31, Luke 6:1-16, Ps 122, Pr 17:18-21