Encouragement…1.To give courage, hope, or confidence 2.To help, give support; to be favorable; to foster; things that encourage.
The above definition from Webster’s Dictionary rings true in my heart and soul. As I reflect on my life, turning points of encouragement mark my path. Parents, teachers, friends, co-workers and family mark my life with encouragement. As we continue to celebrate The National Day of Encouragement and as a case for encouragement I wanted to share part of my own story that I have included in my book The Power of an Encouraging Word.
After months of dealing with an ongoing problem I found myself waiting in my friend’s conference room for his counsel and yes, most likely his encouragement. As Mike entered the room it seemed that all that really mattered was my welfare. I began to share the heartache and struggles that I was facing. I explained how discouraged I was and the opposition I faced. Then all of a sudden Mike looked me in the eyes and began quoting what I later found out was from Teddy Roosevelt.
“It is not the critic who counts. Not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or how the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again because there is not effort without error and shortcoming, but who actually strives to do the deed, who spends himself on worthy cause, who knows the great enthusiasms – the great devotions, who knows, at the best, the triumph of high achievement. And who knows, at worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat!”
WOW! — That day I walked out of that conference room encouraged by Mike’s words and friendship. That was fifteen years ago and Mike is still in my corner with his encouraging words. I share this story also to illustrate the six Be-Attitudes to becoming an effective encourager like Mike.
1. Be a Cheerleader, 2. Be Intentional, 3. Be simple, 4. Be Sensitive, 5. Be Transparent, 6. Be Available
Dr. F.B. Meyer said it best: “If I had my ministry to do over again, I would devote far more time to the ministry of comfort and encouragement.” Be available to the opportunities the Lord gives you to encourage those all around you. Encouragement is like that pebble thrown into the water—it provides an uncommon opportunity to begin a never ending process. While the pebble makes an immediate impact, the ripple continues indefinitely.
Thanks for following me this week as we celebrated The National Day of Encouragement. Please take time to share your stories with us of how your encouraging words have impacted others and yourself. Use the hashtag (#2encourage) to share the good news and a word of encouragement on Twitter.
May you know and experience the fullness and love of the King… moment by moment.