This Is What a Little Encouragement Can Do2
One morning I opened the door to get the newspaper and was surprised to see a strange little dog with our paper in his mouth. Delighted with this unexpected "delivery service," I fed him some treats. The following morning I was horrified to see the same dog sitting in front of our door, wagging his tail, surrounded by eight newspapers. I spent the rest of that morning returning the papers to their owners.
Well, okay – that dog story didn’t really happen to me. It’s just a funny story I’ve heard. But it could be true because the positive effects of encouragement have been proven. Encouragement can help with self-confidence, effort, motivation, success, self-esteem and validation. That dog was motivated, wasn’t he? Have you ever received a well-timed note of encouragement from a friend? If so, how much did it strengthen and reenergize you?
Encouragement is not just important personally but it’s important to the church as well. In fact, God doesn’t just recommend it; he commands it (1 Thessalonians 5:11). He commanded his people to encourage each other every day (Hebrews 3:13) because he knows we need it. When there is no encouragement, people may feel unloved, useless and unimportant.
A note of encouragement might lift someone’s heart by helping them see how God is using them. (In fact, when was the last time you encouraged your pastor? If something he said was used by God to bless you, tell him about it.) Pray for God to show you someone you can encourage. And don’t forget to use scripture. God’s promises are the best encouragers (Isaiah 41:10).