I Am Encouraging

Encouragement is positive influence. When we encourage someone, we are imparting courage to them.
 

Encouraging words are difficult to remember. Discouraging words are difficult to forget.

  An encouraging word spoken at the right time can make all the difference in a person’s life. See Proverbs 25:11; 12:25; 16:24. The words spoken into your life today have a tremendous impact on your life tomorrow.   The Bible provides a wonderful example of a life fully lived under this principle — someone who cultivated encouragement in his own life and encouraged others regularly. His name was Barnabas and there are several lessons we can draw from his story.

An encourager is practical.
See Acts 4:36-37. While attending to someone spiritually is always appropriate and helpful, we shouldn’t neglect looking for ways to encourage the people we love on practical levels as well. Encouragement is relatively simple to do and can be given in very practical ways at home, at work, among friends, on social medial. What practical way can you show encouragement today?
An encourager is a risk taker.
See Acts 9:26-27. Barnabas took a risk when others wanted to reject Saul for his behavior. Love has the ability to look past brokenness and pain, even sinful choices, and still see God at work in the midst of a situation. Loving and caring for someone can be risky and often requires us to be authentic and to move beyond our comfort zones. Take a risk today – encourage your loved one by being vulnerable.
An encourager is committed.
See Acts 11:22-24. When Barnabas was sent to Antioch, the Scriptures says he began to encourage them with everything he had. The words describe him as having a “resolute heart.” In the same way, when we walk down the aisle with someone and pledge vows, or choose to bring a son or daughter into the world, or enter that friendship, or step into that workplace we need to be committed as “all in” when it comes to our own role and responsibilities.
An encourager is others-centered.
See Acts 11:25-26. Shortly after arriving in Antioch, Barnabas turned his thoughts toward his good friend, Saul. Inviting others into your journey underscores the reality that we were created by God in relationship and for relationship.
Marriages and families are composed of individuals who each have their own set of expectations, desires, hopes, dreams, and plans. We all need to grow in the practice of “relational gift-giving.” Encourage your loved ones and make this moment, this hour, this day, a celebration of who they are.
An encourager is available.
See Acts 13:1-3. Making ourselves available to the Lord, as well as to our spouses and children, can open up the doors of opportunity for deeper relationships, ministry, healing, and transformation. For many, time is one of the most valuable commodities in today’s fast-paced world. The power of presence should never be underestimated. Be an encourager and offer yourself in love.
An encourager is patient. 
See Acts 15:36-40. There are times when loving someone means standing with him or her in the middle of major mistakes and shortcomings. The first descriptor of love is that it is patient (1 Cor. 13). Encourage others through your unwavering, patient, and unconditional love. You potentially may be the most influential person in your spouse’s or child’s life… in the best position to support, pray for, believe in, and journey with him or her in all the ups and downs.
 
Who comes to mind in your world that you can encourage? One leader asked a simple question we should all consider, “If the people around you depend on your words for nourishment, are they dying of malnutrition or are they thriving?”
 
Proverbs 11:25 (NLT) —Those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.