Suggested Reding: Proverbs 12:18, 25;
Therefore encourage one another with these words—I Thessalonians 4:18
Encouraging others is our Christian duty. The world has more than its share of discouragers. People are put down, emotionally damaged, heart and soul wounded all the time, sometimes from the time they are born they hear and receive nothing except hurtful and damaging actions and messages from others, so it is our Christian duty to encourage them. When we encourage others with the Good News we have learned about Jesus and his love for them, we are fulfilling the law of Christian love. Jesus’ death on the cross fulfilled the Law of God, now all we are required to do is fulfill the law of love, which is easy to do because the Spirit of God helps us. When God sees us encouraging others, he not only smiles on us but sends us help through his Holy Spirit to fill us up with encouragement and spur us on.
Some people, like myself, have been gifted by the Holy Spirit to encourage others, so encouraging comes naturally and becomes our passion, but that does not mean each one of us—gifted or not—is not to be an encourager. We all have the responsibility to bring some encouragement to others. We all have a responsibility to listen and watch out for those who need, not just worldly encouragement, which is sometimes nothing more than thoughtless, empty compliments and platitudes, but encouragement that is based upon Bible truth and the promises of God. When we encourage others in this way they are being filled and covered by a force greater than we or they are, by the Holy Trinity who can begin to do good work in their life to rebuild them and strengthen them in their life’s journey and circumstances.
As an encourager I do all I can to grow in this area, to learn more about encouraging others. It is my goal to use all the encouragement up the Lord has sown into me so when it is my time to go home to heaven, I don’t have even one drop of encouragement left unspent or that did not get said to others. Your personal gifting from the Holy Spirit may be hospitality, or teaching, evangelism, administration, faith, healing or working miracles, such as Paul describes and names in his letters and I Corinthians, chapter 12, but you are still to be an encourager of others. The Holy Spirit will help you see how you can combine your spiritual gifts with the attribute of encouragement and have a great impact for good, in others.
One of the reasons the Apostle Paul and Barnabas—who was nicknamed “Son of Encouragement” by the other Apostles—were such a dynamic team is because the Holy Spirit knew putting the gifts of Paul as a dynamic preacher and evangelist with the gifting of encouragement that Barnabas had, more and more people would be drawn to the Lord Jesus, would desire to have a close, personal relationship with him and be saved to enjoy eternity in heaven.
When you encourage others you give them hope, help heal wounds, mend brokenness, help them have strength to keep going on in life, learn the truth about themselves, Gods love, their potential, true identity in Christ, and let them know you see and care about them and that God sees and cares about them also.
You do not even have to look very far for others to encourage. Most of the time those we are meant to encourage are right under our noses. They are our family and friends, the people we see all the time in the places we frequent. Even if you confess to the Holy Spirit you do not know how or know what to say to encourage others, he will give you the words and start to inspire you. That’s because he wants you to succeed as an encourager, he wants you to touch and change as many lives as you can. You become the Spirit’s partner in ministering to others and he knows the things that will come out of your mouth will be helping to build others up and repair damage done by the world. You can say a simple prayer today such as,
Dear God, although I have not been given the gift of encouragement I still want to participate in the ministry of encouragement. Help me to see those who need to be encouraged. Fill my mind, inspire my heart, touch my tongue so that I can speak those things that are encouraging and help build others up just as I have been built up by the encouragement of others over my lifetime. Thank you for your written word and recorded promises that encourage me and can be used to encourage others. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.