Welcome to Sharing Life….my Friday series that encourages women to share life with other women. My friends and I are going to be offering posts here that do just that. Our posts will have one of three themes: Faith, Food, or Friendship/Mentoring. To learn more about this series, please click HERE.
Mr. Webster tells us that this word means
- the act of making something more appealing or more likely to happen
- something that makes someone more determined, hopeful, confident
- something that makes someone more likely to do something
There is not a soul breathing earth’s air that cannot use a little encouragement. Every single one of us has times when we need something to boost our hope and our confidence. Encouragement is the seed that others can plant in our lives that brings forth amazing fruit.
Stuart Briscoe tells a story of something that happened to Howard Hendricks when he was in elementary school. Howard had come from a broken family and was a problem kid. During his first day in fifth grade the teacher said, ‘Oh, Howard Hendricks. I’ve heard a lot about you. I understand you are the worst kid in school.’ That year Howard did whatever he could to prove her right.
When the next year rolled around his sixth grade teacher said to him, ‘Oh, so you are Howard Hendricks. I’ve heard you are the worst boy in this school.’ Hendricks thought, ‘Here we go again.’ But then the teacher continued, ‘And you know what? I don’t believe a word of it.’ And Howard said that year that woman did everything she could to help him and encourage him and praise his work; she believed in him. Hendricks credits her with changing his life forever.
Source: Spiritual Stamina, Stuart Briscoe, p 231-232
In Acts 4:36 we are told about a man named Joseph, who was also called Barnabas by his friends. Barnabas sold a field that belonged to him and gave the money to the apostles to further the spread of the gospel. The Scriptures go out of their way to tell us that the name Barnabas means….wait for it…..son of encouragement.
How’s that for a name? Obviously Barnabas had a reputation as an encourager. It was such a reputation that apparently those who knew him best had given him a nickname that perfectly described his character. Barnabas, son of encouragement.
Being an encourager requires that we step outside of ourselves and enter into the life of others. We must be willing to actively listen for opportunities to encourage when others speak. An encourager is always seeking ways to speak a word of hope into the life of another person.
Are you an encourager? Do you intentionally look for opportunities to encourage others? For some of us, it takes a bit of practice because we must take our eyes off ourselves and put them on others, but oh, it is a beautiful thing.
I want to challenge you to be an encourager. Be a Barnabas in a world that needs encouragement. Be a Barnabas to your family and your friends, your co-workers and the folks at the gym. Go forth, daughter of encouragement, and spread hope and confidence!
Tell us about a time you either gave or received encouragement and how it impacted the person receiving it.