Encourager or Discourager?

I love seeing some of the church marquees whenever I go on a road trip or go about my daily route. I love to see the one line sermons on display. Many times I have driven by a sign and I will say out loud, “Amen!” I saw this particular marquee on a church building about a mile from my house. This one really spoke to me. It said, “Never put anyone down unless it’s on your prayer list”. I loved the lesson it taught and what a great reminder. We are all in need of encouragement in our lives. Whether we are the one needing encouragement or the one to give it, there can never be too much to go around. In our daily routine, are we guilty of putting people down more than we are uplifting?

With so much negativity in the world today, I know that people crave positive attention. Have you ever just looked around at people and observed them, looked into their eyes. Every person you know needs to be encouraged at one point or another in their life. In 1 Thessalonians 5:11 it says, “Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.” This does not just mean our church family, but all men. God commanded that his people encourage each other because he knows we need it.

Here are some ways that we can be an encouragement to others:

Be wise in your speech. Communicate more effectively by thinking before you speak. Speak on the same level, giving them due respect. There’s no need to come in with an authoritative voice to get your message across to someone. Do your words tear down or do they strengthen?

Show compassion. Some people just need that kind word to get them through the day. Be careful how we speak to others. Cheer up one who is discouraged with a hug, spending time with them and giving them your full attention.

Be a good listener. Be sensitive to the emotions of others, paying careful attention to what they tell you. Sometimes people just want to know you care what they are going through and are listening.

The best encouragement is heart-felt and sincere. Today, uplift someone who is feeling down. One day, when you need it the most, there will be someone to lift you up with their encouraging words or actions. With that said, are you going to be an encourager or discourager?

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