The Power of Encouragement
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.1 Thessalonians 5:11
How much do you think the fans at a sporting event help with their shouts of encouragement? When I was in high school I ran on the track team and later in life I ran triathlons. During the events spectators would encourage us, especially near the end of the race. It’s amazing how much this encouragement instantly sparked energy, motivating me to increase the pace. This is the power of encouragement.
Encouragement promotes positive thinking which has the opposite effect of negative thinking. Negative thinking such as fear, anxiety, anger, stress, and unforgiveness have a detrimental effect on our cognitive abilities. It inhibits clear thinking and reasoning skills. Encouragement, on the other hand, enables positive thinking and enhances our cognitive abilities.
Research has proven that our brains function best, meaning our quality of life is better, when we think positively. Positive thinking also enables us to see the best in others. Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad (Proverbs 12:25). Encouragement changes our brain’s functioning, activating our motivational centers, and replacing negative thoughts.
A positive self image helps us to see the good in others, while a negative self image raises suspicion and doubts regarding others. God encourages us when he gives us our new identity; But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, (1 Peter 2:9). Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, (Romans 8:17). When we have a high self-worth in Christ, it enables us to see the good in others and opens our hearts to encourage and minister to them.
We encourage others with caring hearts and with meaningful scriptures revealing God’s love and divine guidance. We listen and we empathize, but we avoid telling them what to do unless we are asked. If asked, we respond with encouraging scripture and we compliment others bringing meaningful encouragement.
Every person living and breathing needs encouragement! We are created to encourage others and to receive encouragement and this flows within our church family. If we are ministering to the world we need encouragement from our Christian brothers and sisters to strengthen us to continue reaching out to lost souls. An encouraging word spoken at the right time can make all the difference in someone’s life.
Today take the time to notice people who need uplifted, and give them meaningful words of encouragement. Recognize the feeling of fulfillment we receive when we lift up others, because we are created to care for and help others. An encouraging word is a relatively easy way to do so.
Let’s Pray: Lord, continue to open my heart and give me meaningful words to encourage others, just as your Word encourages me. Let my words come from the Spirit and have the power to uplift others and increase their faith in you. In Jesus’ name, Amen