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Some people are dangerously near compromising their faith. A word of encouragement from you may put them back on track. – Chuck Swindoll
Chuck’s words strike a chord because I’ve experienced that kind of encouragement firsthand, and perhaps you have too.
Biblical encouragement – the kind that stirs the soul – isn’t fluff that soothes momentarily.
Biblical encouragement is grounded in scripture, offering sincere words and actions that linger, creating a spiritual boost only God can measure. I continue to learn how to shift from giving surface-type compliments to offering genuine soul-stirring encouragement. Here are a few things I’m learning along the way:
Focus on the internal. What actions are we seeing in others? Do we see a servant’s heart? If so, we need to share the specific ways we see Christ-in-action through their lives. And if it’s done in front of someone they respect, even better.
Celebrate! Maybe it’s someone in our youth group, small group, neighbor, or co-worker. Did they conquer a hurdle in their lives? Receive a promotion? Graduate? It’s the perfect opportunity to celebrate with them! Send a card, give them a call, or share a small meaningful gift to remind them of God’s hand in their celebration.
Be present. We all fall short of God’s glorious standard. It’s not a matter of if sin happens, but when. So here’s the question: When this happens to someone we love and they refuse to face it, will we choose to quietly fade into the background because it’s the easiest, cleanest thing to do? Or will we, instead, choose to come alongside that person, love them unconditionally, and continue to point them back to Jesus? We may be the only representation of Living Water they know during their driest season.
In Acts 4:36 NIV, Luke translates Barnabas to mean “son of encouragement.” The original Greek word for “encouragement,” paraklesis, means consolation, exhortation, and comfort. Apparently, the apostles who gave Joseph the name Barnabas saw these qualities in his character.
When Jesus sees us, does He see these qualities? Could we be called a daughter of encouragement?
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us
and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort
you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say. 2 Thessalonians 2:16, 17 NIV