Can You Live Without Encouragement?
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up,
just as in fact you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11
My father was a radio announcer, and he had a lot of funny stories to share at the dinner table, but sometimes he would become pre-occupied and not hear us. Dad always encouraged us to share our stories, but one evening I said something crazy to see if he was listening to me: “Today I walked to the grocery store and was the 100,000th customer and won $10,000 worth of groceries” I said.
He didn’t hear me, but all of the kids and my mom joined in my laughter. After that, it became our little joke to get his attention. If he heard laughter, he wanted in on it too. We mostly wanted his attention so he would encourage us.
People all need encouragement. We thrive on it. Without receiving this incredible gift that we can offer to anyone, we would most likely shrivel up inside. We can change someone’s day with just a little kindness, a smile, a pat on the back. We can also do the opposite by rushing by, ignoring, and being simply too busy to care.
I’ve noticed for many, many years how people walk by others and say “how are you” without waiting for an answer. My first newspaper article was titled Really, How Are You? and I wrote about this subject. I felt our world was moving too fast, and we were too busy – and that was in high school!
We don’t make the time to engage with others.
It’s so important to slow down and listen to the responses we get and check if the person needs a little bit of extra TLC. Even if they are a stranger, that person may require only seconds of our time to feel important, to feel worthy. We may never know when one little word leads to another and before we know it, we are aware that this encounter was a divine appointment set in our schedule by God.
When God wants to send encouragement and love to someone, He uses us. We are His messengers.
Don’t you think we need to slow down and listen to the voices around us with an intentional ear? Does someone need encouragement or that extra attention from you? Can we be part of making someone’s day brighter or life easier? Can we be a link in the chain to sharing Jesus with them? Let’s encourage and build up one another.
Even if you are the person that needs the encouragement, step outside of your personal needs and look to those of others and before you know it, you’ll be feeling encouraged just by being the encourager!
Lord, please help me listen more intently to the people you bring into my path. Give me an ear like You have and send me the perfect words to encourage and build up those that come into my life.
Source: Seeking Jesus, 2012