Encouragement means to give words of approval. This is a verbal act of urging on and support. In the sense you are cheering and shouting encouragement. We must “speak words that bring life, understanding, wisdom, and comfort” – But my mouth would encourage you; comfort from my lips would bring you relief. (Job 16:5) What is the cost of our sacrifice? We must stop talking about the wrong things. We must stop putting people down, or judging others because they do not fit a mold that we set. We must take every opportunity to lift someone up, and not tear them down.
Encouragement means to advance and promote someone. Encouragement is also acceptance. We must “accept people where they are, and help them to get where they need to go” - But commission Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, for he will lead this people across and will cause them to inherit the land that you will see." (Deut. 3:28) What is our cost? We have to begin to have God’s heart for people. We have to see them as they will be and not simply where they are right now. If someone had not seen what I could become, I might not be who I am. We have to help prepare people to step into the leadership roles God has for them, even if it means that someday they will surpass us or take the role we currently hold.
Encouragement fosters, it aids in the development of someone. We must be willing to sacrifice our time, our energy and our example for others to develop into what God has for them – Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. (1 Thes 5:11) The cost? – We must be willing to be living sacrifices. That means what I want to do has to take a back seat to what God is leading me to do. Is there someone right now that God has shown you that you need to walk with? You need to spend time with? But you haven’t because; well you are just too busy with your life. That person is in need of a hero, what are you waiting for? (Come back next week for the next installment)