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Be an Encouragement

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… exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” so that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

Hebrews 3:13

Each year, a few co-workers ask me to provide input to their managers regarding their job performance. I never really enjoyed having to provide this feedback until one year I decided to focus exclusively on sharing their positive contributions to me and to our organization. Choosing to affirm and encourage those with whom I work completely transformed my perspective on this task from one of dread to one of joy. This positive feeling soon impacted my entire day as I considered how my words might really make a difference for my co-workers.

Everyone struggles to be positive. Remaining negative long enough can harden our hearts toward God. This is true whether our negativity is directed towards others or towards ourselves. We stop trusting that God is at work in our circumstances and that positive outcomes are possible. We lose hope and embrace doubt. This is the deceitfulness of sin and its impact on our lives can be devastating. Choosing to encourage someone else may seem trivial. Yet, you have no idea how God can use a simple word of encouragement to radically change someone else’s life. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

Today do not withhold words of encouragement. Be encouraging by affirming the good in other people. There is good in everyone, if we take the time to look for it. Trust that God will use your affirming words to change their life. Recognize your own need for encouragement and surround yourself with encouraging, affirming people.

Prayer: Father, help me today to see and affirm the good in others as I have the opportunity to. Use these affirming words to change me and the person to whom they are spoken. Thank you for encouraging me daily as I struggle to fully surrender myself to you. Please surround me with encouraging, affirming people that will help me in this struggle. In Jesus’ name. Amen