Friday, July 22, 2011

Courage For Today

"But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness." 
{Hebrews 3:13}
I wonder what would happen if we, as Christians, truly took this scripture to heart... and practice. What would our relationships look like? In light of this verse, we should be some of the best people to be around- after all, who wouldn't want to be around someone who was consistently giving out encouragement every day?
The truth is, most of us are too busy trying to get encouragement instead of trying to give it.
... And we wonder why we are so discouraged all the time? ...It's because we've got it all backwards! God's economy is so much different than the world's. The world says you need to get more to prosper... God's Word says you need to give more to prosper. Proverbs 11:25 says it this way:
"A generous person will prosper;
whoever refreshes others will be refreshed." 
You see, we can't expect to enjoy an abundant harvest of encouragement without first sowing a whole bunch of encouragement "seeds." Want to be encouraged all the time? Who wouldn't?! Sow encouragement into the lives of others on a regular basis and you'll begin to be encouraged on a regular basis. 

Encouragement should not be seen as something to be given out as a one-time event. After all, how would we feel if we only received encouragement as a one-time event? The truth is, we all need it much more often than we'll ever realize or even vocalize... otherwise, I don't think Paul would have exhorted us to give it out daily! 
Today, your uplifting words have the power to make all the difference in the world to someone.
And the good news is, not only will they make all the difference in the world in someone else's life, they'll also make all the difference in the world in your own. 

Want to feel loved today? Express love to someone else. Want to be stronger through seasons of trials? Sow words of strength into the life of someone you know who is going through trials of their own. Not only will their burdens seem lighter, but your own will too. 

Encouragement comes in many forms and is much easier to give out than you think. A quick note, a quick call, a quick email or text message... a hug, a smile, a hand to hold, a helping hand... a "Thank you," an "I love you." 

Not only will someone else enjoy the refreshing waters of encouragement as they flow freely from your lips, but you will too. The very courage you give someone else in the battles they face today will give you strength and courage for your own.

For Further Thought:

  • Who could use a word of encouragement from you today? Your spouse? Your children? A co-worker? A stranger?
  • How could your friendships benefit from a regular practice of giving more encouragement?
  • Who could you show support today? Maybe with a meal? A kind gesture? A helping hand?
  • Who could use some help or motivation? A timely and thoughtful gift? A kind word?
  • How can you express your gratitude to someone who has blessed your life?
  • Who would be blessed to know that you are praying for them?

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