the power of encouragement

Frequently I am reminded of the power of encouragement, and conversely, of discouragement.  And so often it takes so little to do either!  I had a great moment of encouragement from one person this week – and a tiny moment of discouragement from another.  The first person was very conscious of wanting to encourage me – the second probably didn’t realise they were being discouraging at all.

I need to stop and think constantly – how am I being encouraging today?  Or when am I being discouraging, usually from mere thoughtlessness?

To someone, it may make the world of difference.

Related Post:

A Little Encouragement

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12 thoughts on “the power of encouragement

    1. Ooh food for thought – will try and post next week when have broadband! I think a lot of encouragement can come from simply valuing people and showing them that they – and their concerns and longings – matter.

  1. Hi Lucy, I have great days, good days, and bad days, I find that discouragement is something I fight the most when I am in pain, and even the slightest ray of hope from anyone who loves me goes a long, long way. It does not take much just to let me know that tomorrow is another day!
    Gentle Hugs
    Laura

  2. For me, prayer is the key. I mean that when I am trying to be good it doesn’t really work but when I am just feeling really ‘connected’ sincere encouragement seems to flow out without me really giving it much thought. In the car I pray in tongues alot. Jabbering away like a mad person. when I get to where I’m going I often continue silently… though it is worth asking God to help you not to keep moving your lips… Praying like this works wonders for me 🙂

  3. Encouragement is such an important gift and ministry – without it being used – I should think a lot of people who have made a positive impact on society wouldn’t have gone for it. I know the times that someone has gently encouraged me, I have felt more able to do that which I believe God has called me to do. Encouragement is like the match that lights the candlewick – without it nothing much happens. Understanding this should challenge us all to be great encouragers. I like Marks thoughts – if encouragement comes out of a prayerful connection with God, it will go far! Thanks for the reminder to make the effort!

    Jo

  4. As you say it often takes so little to encourage or to discourage someone else or to be encouraged or discouraged by people or events. Some people seem to have a great gift as encouragers, or is it simply that they make the effort? It’s a gift I want to develop. I so often unwittingly act as a discourager. As something to help me through times of discouragement I keep a ‘Barnabas’ file into which I put any particularly encouraging thank you notes etc. that I’ve received from others. I rarely get it out to read, but I know it’s there if I need it.

    1. Yes, I know people who seem to be natural encouragers…but perhaps it takes more effort than we realise…taking time to notice where encouragement is needed is important in itself.

  5. One thing I’d throw into the mix: When I was first saved, I became a great encourager. Encouragement fire-hosing all over the place. People used to say I had the gift of encouragement… maybe they were right… However, I noticed that although I delivered sincere encouragement, I wasn’t so hot on what not to encourage…. So when someone was embarking on a course of action that seemed good to me, I would deliver a bucket of encouragement. Once or twice I realised later that the course I had encouraged was, in fact, not what God wanted the person to do. They later realised this and changed track, but my misguided encouragement may have hindered them. As the years have progressed God has graciously given me a little wisdom and I have noticed that the encouragement that flows spontaneously from a base of prayer is far more likely to be on target.

    1. I think you’re right – encouragement needs discernment, which flows from prayer. Sometimes people have tried to ‘encourage’ me to do stuff that I know isn’t the right thing for me – their intentions are good but in fact doing that stole time away from the things GOD wanted me to do. So yes, when we encourage, we need to do so wisely.

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