Have you ever noticed how a person responds to encouragement? Real encouragement, not fluff, or smarmy flattery.
Encouragement that is an accurate assessment of something a person has done well can provide all the impetus for them to keep reaching higher, doing more, and achieving a greater level of excellence.
Many years ago I determined to become a great encourager of people and I have watched it lift burdens off people as they get renewed energy in their God purpose. Their attachment to church strengthens and they start to value their relationship with Jesus more than anything else in life. Encouragement can do that.
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It can breathe life into God dreams that have been set aside and forgotten about for decades. It’s like oxygen to your spirit. It helps lift your faith.
It speaks to a place in all people that is asking does anyone notice and value my investment here? And does anyone value me?
Ultimately, we need to know our value comes from God. But we also need to hear it from the people in our lives. When we value people and let them know it, it builds authentic community in our churches. Each person has great value, is vitally important, and we need to let them know that.
People want to bring their best and invest into something worthwhile. They want to know they have added something of significance. Encouragement lets them know you notice their investment and appreciate it. It’s all that’s needed for them to continue bringing their best every time.
On the other hand, insincere encouragement, fake flattery, can be spotted a mile away, and it is worse than if the person had stayed silent. It is like the oxygen just got sucked out of the conversation.
The main reason I determined to become an encourager was I noticed how rare it is. I noticed how little encouragement people give or receive, yet how desperately needed it is.
Too often, the only feedback people get is when they have messed up. It’s critical, negative, often petty, it can be overly harsh. If a person is not doing their job, there are definite times when tough conversations need to happen. But if that is all the feedback a person gets it is very damaging to the person. They will struggle with confidence and self doubt, and very possibly live with confusion over roles and expectations, and it strains relationships. This is true in the family, the work place, and in church.
People are a little too good at focusing on the negative because it’s easier to focus on the things that need to improve.
Instead, if we can focus on what’s right and good we will find it easy to encourage people.
In the church we need to be great encouragers of each other. There is enough in the world that would try and tear away at the fabric of our church communities. We can help people stay planted in church by choosing to focus on the good in people and by simply encouraging that. We will help people stay planted in church and flourish.