One of the highest of human duties is the duty of encouragement… It is easy to laugh at men’s ideals; it is easy to pour cold water on their enthusiasm; it is easy to discourage others. The world is full of discouragers. We have a Christian duty to encourage one another. Many a time a word of praise or thanks or appreciation or cheer has kept a man on his feet. Blessed is the man who speaks such a word.
The ministry of encouragement is open to Christians as it is to no others. Christians have a new life in Christ, an all powerful Holy Spirit to lead them into all truth, and a Heavenly Father who will protect and bless them eternally. If any people anywhere are qualified and equipped to a ministry of positive and healthy encouragement in a desperately discouraging world, it is the Christian church. Christian disciples, Christ said, are the “salt of the earth.” They should make life tasty! They should be, above all else, encouragers.
It takes what I am calling “big-heartedness” for a person to overcome jealousy, envy, division and personality differences to reach out and become an encourager… Genuine, godly love never even looks on another believer’s success as a threat, it looks on it as a blessing. It gets right in there giving all the possible support it can possibly give, immediately.
The encourager, no matter how dark the day, always brings a message of hope. Those who encourage…are in effect only beggars telling other beggars where to find help.
It is sad…that saints should have many eyes to behold one another’s infirmities, and not one eye to see each other’s graces.
We best encourage not by being cuddly with people but by reminding them of the promises of God. Encouragement from God for the people of God comes from the word of God. I am not depreciating the helpfulness of the personal touch or care, but in an age that wallows in “caring” and “sensitivity” on every hand believers need to know that solid encouragement comes not from emotional closeness but from God’s speech.
So many times I’ve seen men, particularly younger guys, act as if real leadership is shown in correcting others. That’s why young men’s sermons often scold. What they haven’t figured out is that you can often accomplish more by encouragement. There are times to scold. But 80 to 90 percent of what you hope to correct can be accomplished through encouragement. If you look back at your life and consider who influenced you the most, you will probably find that it’s the people who believed in you.
One of God’s primary means of encouraging Christians everywhere is with truth – truth revealed by the Holy Spirit. The repository of that truth is the Bible. That is what Paul wrote, “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Rom. 15:4).
Though some people may seem to be naturally gifted at encouraging and uplifting other people, the Bible makes it clear that we’re all to be encouragers. According to Scripture, encouragement is to be a regular part of our interaction with other people. This necessarily means that we must spend time with other people for the purpose of knowing their needs, their struggles, and how best they may be encouraged.
Encouragement, however, is very different from coercion.
The faintest whisper of support and encouragement uttered by a Christian in the ears of his fellow believer is heard in heaven.
I have never met anyone too encouraged. Never once.
Giving “spiritual” encouragement in a biblical sense must mean to encourage based from a standpoint of absolute Truth as opposed to opinion, conjecture or hope. “Spiritual” encouragement, therefore, will be consistent, traceable back to the Bible and rooted in biblical principle.
Spiritual encouragement, therefore, is applying biblical principles to every situation with a view toward bringing each person into right relationship with God. At times spiritual encouragement may “feel”’ harsh. It may not be what one “desires” to hear. That may be true regardless of how gentle the words are which are used. As people fallen from grace we often don’t want to hear the truth. We often just want to hear what will make us feel better. In the end, however, only true spiritual encouragement can be used by God to touch the soul of one.
Let us but feel that He has His heart set upon us, that He is watching us from those heavens with tender interest, that He is following us day by day as a mother follows her babe in his first attempt to walk alone, that He has set His love upon us, and in spite of ourselves is working out for us His higher will and blessing, as far as we will let Him – and then nothing can discourage us.
If you are not a positive encourager, you will probably be a poor admonisher.