The Encouragement Challenge

Discouragement happens.  It comes into all of our lives.  Discouragement steals our joy.  It robs us of peace.  Discouragement is not always defeat; but the fear of it.  The sense that things not only are not going well, but will not go well.

Discouragement is the loss or lack of confidence.  It is the losing of courage.  When confidence and courage are lost they can be very difficult to find.  For the Christ-follower, the idea of courage is closely related to that of faith.  Faith is something that leads us to do the extraordinary – like move mountains or walk on water or see people healed.  Faith is the courage to believe God – not in word but in deed.

Encouragement, unfortunately, does not happen often enough.  Did you know, follower of Jesus, that you are commanded to encourage?  “encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.  (Hebrews 3:13)

Yet, encouragement is something I believe is lacking too often from and in the life of the believer.  I wonder what would your church would look like a year from now if everyone in your church took seriously the command to encourage one another?  What would your marriage look like if you and your spouse became each other’s greatest encouragers?  How differently would your children live out their faith if you became their greatest encourager?

Encouragement, Biblically, is much more than a pat on the back and an “atta boy.”  Encouragement means to exhort – to give instructive encouragement.  We are called to speak the “truth in love” to one another to build one another up toward maturity in Christ.

What would happen if the believers around you began to speak courage into your life about doing anything and everything God gifted you and commanded you to do?  What would happen if you did this for others?

6 Tips for becoming an encourager:
1.  Say what you need to say.
When you feel lead to share something with someone, speak up.
2.  Say things with a right spirit.
Sarcasm has become an unfortunate enemy of encouragement.  Use it sparingly and wisely.
3.  Say things that are true.
You will never encourage faithfulness from a place of faithlessness.
4.  Encourage with what you encourage to.
Truth encourages truth.  Hope encourages hope.  Joy encourages joy.  You get the picture.
5.  Put your trust in God that is working in people, not just in the people.
Considering one another God’s workmanship helps us not give up on His work.
6.  Encouragement is best face to face.

Who needs you to encourage them today? Who do you need to speak some truth in love to today? Who needs you to show up in person today?

Will you commit to a week of encouragement?  A month?  A year?
Here is the challenge – choose one person you will encourage this week.
If they need to be brought back to truth bring truth in love to them.
If they need faithfulness appreciated, appreciate them.
Be personal…Be specific…Be encouraging.
If you do it for one week, why not try a month?
If for a month, why not a year?
If a year, why not for life?

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