An Honest Account of Love, Grief and Walking With God
Finding God's Goodness in Life's Disappointments

Monday, June 24, 2013

Encouraging One Another

The Power of Encouragement
Kerrville Daily Times and Community Journal

Our encouragement can impact many
All of us have had things in our lives that have greatly impacted us, either in a positive or negative way. Studying month after month the phrase in scripture, one another, created a foundation in my life that I still try to live by today. The small group of 40-50 people I attended church with, learned weekly what scripture has to say about living and interacting with one another in our families, work place and our community. Eighty three times the phrase, one another, appears in the Bible. It instructs us how to interrelate to each other according to God. As I read this week and encountered various life experiences, one particular phrase stood out- encourage one another.

There seems to be a shortage of encouraging words in our society. Everyone needs encouragement to thrive. Some pretend they don’t need it, but all of us need cheerleaders in our lives. Encouraging words keep us going in the right direction, help us persevere   through tough times, and motivate us to go beyond what we think we can accomplish. I know this is true from personal experience.

2 Corinthians 13:11 says,“Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.”(NIV) Think for a minute about those in your life you like to be around the most. Why do you like being around them? Could it be that they encourage you and you feel energized and strengthened by being around them? I love being around those that bless me with their words of encouragement. I never would have considered writing  if I had not had numerous people encourage me. This scripture also says that we receive a blessing when we encourage others. God loves unity and when His kids build one another up, instead of tear one another down.
Encouraging family
Hebrews 10:24 states “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” (NIV) The word encourage means, to give support, confidence  or hope to someone. Our words are powerful.  They can motivate others and pour strength into them to continue when they want to quit. Think about the purpose of a pep rally. It is to draw the team and fans together to get fired up about beating their opponent. Do your words inspire others? 
1 Thessalonians 5:11 instructs us by saying, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”(NIV) God’s heart is for us to be one another’s cheerleaders. Encouragement breeds courage. Often times, others see our potential before we do. Let encouraging words constantly flow from your mouth to build others up. We all encounter difficulties and discouraging circumstances and I know personally, encouraging words keep me going when times are tough. Our words can either build or tear down. It is just that simple.
Grateful for my friends that encourage me
This past week, experienced another death in our family. This time it was a cousin. I am a strong woman, however, I have experienced numerous losses of loved ones in the recent months and years. It has been a season where the landscape of our family has changed dramatically. Our family does not look anything like it did in family pictures several years ago. I am forever grateful for those God has put in my life to love me and cheer me on in this season of losing significant people in my life. Often times, we never know what someone around us is going through. Therefore, we always need to look for the words that encourage people.
Hebrews 3:13 shows us how often we should encourage those in our lives. “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” (NIV) I had someone this week contact me and seek advise about something. I believe this person knew what to do in the situation, they just needed some encouragement to keep on the right path. As I sat at my desk and listened to them and God, I realized they just needed someone to lean over the balcony of their life and cheer them on because life was tough. 
Years ago, I was in a difficult season of my life. I went out for a jog and began to pray as I slowly moved my body down the street. Tears began to stream down my face and I felt like I could not go another step. I suddenly had this picture of me falling down in the dirt face down and laying there. Then all of a sudden, I saw my grandparents, who were very important in my life and deceased. They were leaning over the balcony of heaven, yelling at me, “Get up, come on, you can do it.” I knew God was encouraging me to not quit. 
I want to challenge you today to put a deposit into someones emotional bank account and encourage them. Let’s do it in our families, work place, church, and community. Be a blessing to those around you with your attitude and words. Be someones cheerleader today. Ask God to open your eyes to those around you, even those you don’t know that need you to inspire them. Will you join me in encouraging one another?
Kathleen is a native of the Hill Country and is a writer and speaker. She is passionate about helping people discover their value and worth. She can be heard on Sunday mornings from 8:00 am to 9:00 am on The REV FM, 94.3. Contact her at kathleenmaxwell1@gmail.com or visit her blog on www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com


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