Never Too Young To Be An Encourager
When was the last time you met someone that refreshed you and energised you?
Someone that encouraged you and inspired you?
A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. (Proverbs 11:25)
How wonderful to be like the ‘refreshing’ person in Proverbs 11:25 – someone so full of God’s peace and light that it invokes energy and strength in those around us. We need people to be blessings in our society, across our schools and universities, in our homes and workplaces, in broken families and difficult friendships. We are never too young to start working to be an encourager! Proverbs 11:25 shows us that when we strive to be a blessing to others, we will in turn reap the benefits for our own hearts.
In Hebrews 3:13, we see these words: “encourage one another daily”. Let's make this our aim: to encourage and bless the people around us daily. How can we do this?
1. With words that build up. (Ephesians 4:29)
As Christians, we should aim to bring glory to God in all we do, and this applies to the words we speak. In situations where we are surrounded by damaging words and harmful gossip, we can be the light by countering destructive words with compassion, humility and love (1 Peter 3:8).
Sometimes we are tempted to join in with certain kinds of conversations to protect ourselves from standing out and becoming vulnerable. It's tempting to join in with the world and draw people to the gossip that we could choose to contribute or the jokes we could make at the expense of someone else. But - it's right that we glorify God instead. This means we should displaying His light and love in the words we speak.
So what does this look like? Perhaps every time you are caught in a conversation that is not glorifying to God, you can make it your aim to speak words of blessing. When you know a person has been getting attention for the wrong reasons, try and see them through God's eyes. If they are in a difficult place, reject the stereotype reaction and offer words of life - words that are refreshing, strengthening and comforting.
2. With actions that value others. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
You can be a great source of encouragement in the lives of people around you by taking practical measures to let people know how much you value and appreciate their presence in your life. I know one girl that blesses others by being quick to give small unexpected gifts to the people in her life, actively appreciating them and showing them that she recognises the value of their friendship.
In one of my first posts I wrote about my sister's art of letter-writing. Taking time out of your schedule to write letters or give gifts is such a great way to show people that you care for them and want to build them up in all they do.
Ask God to help you see the best way that you can encourage the people around you. Take Mia as an example that you are never too young to start being someone whose actions value others!
3. With a heart that loves. (John 13:34)
One of the easiest ways to fuel a “love revolution” is to decide to make others feel valuable. Mother Teresa said:
“Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody: I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.”
So many people in our culture struggle with recognising their worth and finding their identity - and this seems especially true for girls. If we know our identity is found in Christ, we can have a security that allows us to develop our relationship with Jesus and learn how to love His people in a tiny reflection of the way in which He loves us.
With hearts wide open, let’s focus on loving people – refreshing our relationships with words that strengthen and build up and a heart that loves.
4. With a faith that hopes. (Romans 1:12)
We can encourage others not just with our words but also with the life that we live, if it is one that reflects the hope we have in the unchanging love of Jesus. I know that for me, some of the most powerful moments of encouragement in my own faith haven't just come from words someone has said to me, but by the way someone has lived their life hoping in God. If we choose to recognise God's goodness and sovereignty even in the most difficult chapters of our lives, we can encourage others to realise what this same promise means for their own lives.
Let's remember that it's all about the hope that we have in our Saviour. So make the choice today to start living out this truth in your life, making your words and actions an overflow of the hope that you have in your heart.
Choose to be an encourager the people around you. Refresh them when they feel weak and insecure. Encourage them in their joys and passions, comfort them in their times of sadness. Spur them on in the work they do for God's glory and in their relationship with their Father.