We all need a little encouragement each day, and what a better world this would be if everyone received just a word. We live in a broken and scary world of terrorism, sickness, storms, deaths, child abuse, financial problems, loss of jobs, our religious freedoms being questioned, and that list just goes on and on depending on the season of life you are in. As Christians, God calls us to be encouragers. I am encouraged to think about being a light to someone that just needs to hear from me. How different would our world be if each one of us encouraged just one other person today.
Encouraging words can get overlooked in the busyness of life. We are too busy to pause and speak to the cashier, to a teacher, to a police officer, to a military person – all who serve us. If you are like me, you need reminders. Perhaps it should be on our to-do lists each day so we don’t forget.
We need to be sowing with our words. It does not come easy for me. I am always in a rush, but God is teaching me to slow down. So how do we sow?
- I think first we need to be sowing seeds right in our homes. How long has it been since you said “thank you” to your husband or children? How long as it been since you said “well done”? How long has it been since you just stopped and gave a hug and said “I love you”? Notice what they are doing well and thank them. I used to just take things for granted. Today I always try to remember to say thank you even if we go for a hamburger. Is a family member discouraged? Don’t tear them down, build them up. Does your husband love to come home? He should because you should be his cheerleader, his encourager, and one he can share about his day. Do you start telling him how bad your day was as soon as he walks in the door, or on the phone during the day when he is busy? Don’t. Ask him how his day went, he will know you care, and then he’ll want to hear how yours went.
- Sow encouragement with your neighbors or friends through acts of service. Is someone sick? Take them a meal and tell them you are thinking about them and praying for them. Does someone need a yard mowed that is sick or has someone in the hospital? Go mow that yard. Do you know a couple that needs a night out? Offer to babysit for their young children or maybe an ailing parent who lives with them. Does someone you know have a new baby or maybe sick? Offer to clean their house for them or run an errand while you are in town.
- When someone calls to mind that needs encouragement, have you texted, called or emailed them? Sometimes on a drive in from town, I just dial a number and talk to a friend for a bit (got hands-free calling).
- Are you a blogger or do you love Facebook? Your words can be encouraging or they can be negative. Proverbs 18:21 (NLT) says, “The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” Watch your tongue!
- Encourage with gifts. It does not have to be expensive. Share some plants you dug up out of a flower bed. Send a card – e-cards are free.
- Pray – It’s encouraging to me if I am down just to hear someone say they are praying for me.
There is power in our words. Use them wisely because our words can cause problems with family and neighbors. It only takes a moment to ruin relationships that might never be rebuilt.
I found it interesting in all the versions of Hebrews 3:13 that I looked up have the word today capitalized. The verse says to do it Today. Today will be our yesterday tomorrow. Tomorrow will be too late to encourage someone that needed encouragement Today. Think about Today every single day. Encourage someone Today. Make sure it is on your to-do list Today. Pray for God to show you who needs encouragement Today.
A kind word of encouragement can not only change someone’s day, but may change their life for the good.
Today I am joining others over at Finding The Grace Within.