From The Heart

Encouragement/Exhortation

Romans chapter 12 verse 8 in NLT says “if your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging”. This chapter talks of the 9 motivational gifts that God has given to build up one another. Someone once said that encouragement is like verbal sunshine. I like that!

In my mind, the gift of encouragement (probably like all other gifts – because with regards to giving, for example, the word says “it is more blessed to give than to receive”) – works both ways. The giver and the receiver are both blessed.

Have you ever felt to encourage someone, and they have brushed you off with a comment like “oh well it’s all God really”? Whilst we do acknowledge that all good things come from Father God, I know I have felt disappointed/grieved when I attempted to encourage someone, and they did not receive it. This happened recently, and it made me question myself as to how I receive from others.

Often it takes courage for a person to step out and pass on a good word to us. Hebrews 10:24 says “let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works”. Verse 25 goes on to say, “and let us not neglect our meeting together, as some do, but ENCOURAGE one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near.”

Encourage in the dictionary, is described as “give support, confidence or hope”. The free dictionary puts it like this “to impart courage, inspiration and resolution; to cheer (on), embolden, inspire, inspirit, embolden.” Wow! How powerful is that!

We know that encouragement is not flattery. Flattery is said to be “excessive and insincere praise, given especially to further one’s one interest”. Whereas I think encouragement is to build up another person, speaking the truth in love; acknowledging the gifts and talents and value of someone else, in sincerity and honesty.

So today, let’s consider how we can put courage into someone else – and if we are encouraged by someone, let’s be gracious and receive.

God’s rich blessings.

Kath

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