Isn’t it a nice feeling to see a smile come across someone’s face when you say a kind word to them? It’s amazing to actually see their shoulders rise when a little encouragement is offered.
I was recently at a popular fast food restaurant. As I pulled into the parking lot, I decided to go inside to place my order because the drive thru line was wrapped around the building. I quickly learned the line was not much shorter inside. There were half a dozen people in front of me and it didn’t take long to hear the murmurs and grumbling. The kitchen staff was in full view and was made up of the typical young people who often work in these establishments. It was immediately evident why the customers were growing more and more frustrated with their wait time. The majority of the staff were horsing around and seemed to not know exactly what they were supposed to be doing. The manager was busy, but not providing direction and many of them were taking full advantage of the situation. One young man, however, the guy that was taking the brunt of the angry and frustrated faces was running the cash register, and also taking and filling our orders. He was a steadily working with purpose. He really was doing a great job, but his demeanor. Discouragement is the best way to explain how he was evidently feeling. He was working so hard to take care of everyone while most of his co-workers were playing. It was as if they didn’t notice or didn’t care that customers were waiting, that they were there to do a job, or possibly they had no clue how to keep up with what needed to be done. This young man was shouldering the harsh comments from the customers even though they were really directed at the rest of the crew and the entire situation. You could tell it was weighing on him, his shoulders drooped, his head hung slightly and you could just see the dread on his face as he worked with each new irritated customer. Do you ever feel like this? Do you sometimes feel like your hard work goes unnoticed? Do you feel like you are the only one working? It stinks doesn’t it! Don’t let it stop you from doing your best! Embrace the encouragement when it comes your way and be on the look out because I know there will be an opportunity for you to encourage someone else!
I had been studying about being an encourager around the time I went to the store and decided to apply it.
As this young man turned to help me, I was ready with a big smile and kind eyes. He seemed a little surprised, but his facial expression didn’t really change. I’m telling you guys, he was really beat down! I politely placed my order and then offered some kind words. I complimented him on how hard he was working and expressed to him that I appreciated all that he was doing to take care of each of us. He stopped and looked at my smiling face and his shoulders actually LIFTED. This little bit of encouragement added even more hustle and determination to his work. It was as if the leader rose up in him, and he gently started commanding that his stations were manned properly. It was so cool to watch the impact of a little kindness and encouragement.
To all you mommas out there, Proverbs 14:1 tells us that “the wise woman BUILDS her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands.”
I know you have seen evidence of this when interacting with your family. When you encourage your husband it makes him more confident in his position. Praise him and thank him for all he does for you and your family. I guarantee it will make him a kinder, more loving husband and father rather than if he is hearing only what he does wrong. As strong and tough as our guys are, their hearts can be ripped wide open with the venom that our tongue lashings can throw out. When you praise your children, it pushes them to achieve more than they ever thought possible. My grandson just beams when we encourage him and praise him for each new skill he learns. My children worked harder and longer when we convinced them that they could accomplish whatever they were working on. My son was one of the smallest on the football field, but this did not stop him. He would do all he could to take down guys double his size even if it meant hanging on their back and finally tripping them up. He grew in size and stature as he aged, still not the largest on the team, but he was one of the best and he always took down his opponent. My daughter has always been creative. It took encouragement to convince her, that God truly blessed her with an incredible talent. She has spent hours honing her skills and has been blessed with many projects over the years. She is an amazing artist. They both grew tremendously in their skills because they had encouragement to keep growing their skills. It takes time and effort to build things. We build our families by being an encourager. We poured into the kids, their coaches, family and friends, encouraged them to keep trying, working at building their skills, practicing, praising, all these things went into them building their confidence and success.
The Bible repeatedly tells us to encourage others. It tells us to encourage each other day after day, as long as it is still called “Today.” I would say that this is a pretty clear statement of when and how often we should be in the habit of encouraging those around us.
- Moses was told to encourage Joshua in Deuteronomy 3:28
- God’s promises offer encouragement in Isaiah 35:3-4
“Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble. Say to those with anxious heart, “Take courage, fear not. Behold, your God will come with vengeance; The recompense of God will come, But He will save you.”
- Paul shares in 1 Thessalonians 5:11-22
“Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing. But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another. We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people. Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic Or gifts utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every Or appearance form of evil.
- Paul shares in Hebrews 3:12-19
“Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end, while it is said, “today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts, as when they provoked Me.” For who provoked Him when they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.”
When I study deep into something,
I really enjoy looking up definitions of the words
ENCOUR’AGE, verb transitive enkur’rage.
To give courage to; to give or increase confidence of success;
to inspire with courage, spirit, or strength of mind;
to embolden; to animate; to incite; to inspirit.
Here are a few ways that you can be encouragement to those in your life.
- GIVE THEM COURAGE
- MAKE THEM BRAVE & FEARLESS
- STRENGTHEN THEIR MIND
- CREATE A BELIEF IN THEM THAT THEY CAN STAND
WITHOUT BEING MOVED OR OVERTHROWN
- HELP THEM HAVE A FIXED FOCUS & PURPOSE
- BE THEIR BIGGEST CHEERLEADER
- GIVE THEM ASSURANCE TO MAKE THEM BOLD (with humility, of course)
- MAKE THEM COME TO LIFE BY GIVING SPIRIT TO THEIR PASSION
- STIR THEM UP & MOVE THEIR MIND TO ACTION
- ENERGIZE THEM – LIFT THEIR SHOULDERS
- RECOGNIZE THEIR POTENTIAL
- LISTEN TO THEIR CONCERNS & DREAMS
- SPEAK WISDOM INTO THEM
- INFUSE THEM WITH JOY
- INCREASE THEIR CONFIDENCE OF SUCCESS
- STIMULATE THEIR TALENTS & STRENGTHS
- TEACH THE VALUE OF PRACTICE, DETERMINATION & HARD WORK
- PROMOTE AN OVERCOMER ATTITUDE
- PUSH FOR A CALM, COOL & COLLECTED RESPONSE TO FAILURE
- APPLAUD A NEVER GIVE UP & TRY AGAIN UNTIL YOU PERFECT IT ATTITUDE
- ALWAYS BUILD THEM UP – CRITIQUE DOES NOT NEED TO DESTROY