We all go through times when we’re discouraged and in need of encouragement.
There’s a lot in this world that can un-inspire us; that deflates our hope, dampens our courage, and depresses our spirits.
We all need encouragers in our lives - people who say, I believe in you when our self-confidence is low; who say You can do it when we’re facing something hard; who say I’m happy for you, proud of you, inspired by you when we pursue our dreams, go after new opportunities, and step into what God is calling us to do.
Most importantly, they encourage us by reminding us of who God is, who we are in Christ, and who we are called to be as we walk in step with the Spirit.
A Call to Encourage
The Bible has a lot to say about encouraging one another:
We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord.
As followers of Jesus, we are called to be encouragers. Our words and actions should benefit, help, uplift, inspire, affirm, and motivate others in their faith.
As I said before, there is so much in this world that discourages us, knocking us down and holding us back from stepping out in faith, speaking the truth in love, and shining our light.
The enemy lies to us about our identity and purpose, stirring up insecurities that say we’re alone, incapable, unqualified, unloveable, unworthy, and not good enough.
But encouragement speaks the truth of our identity in Christ, saying, You are seen and loved and valued. You have worth and purpose that go beyond popularity and success. You CAN do all things through Christ, because He is enough for you, in you, and through you.
When this truth takes root in the heart, hope and confidence bloom. Others are built up in their faith, affirmed in their identity in Christ, spurred on to be who God created them to be, and brave to do what He has called them to do.
This is the power of encouragement.
How to Be An Encouragement to Others
When we read in Scripture about encouragement, from the promises that encourage our own hearts, to the instructions that call us to encourage others, to the stories that display what encouragement looks like lived out, we see many ways in which we can encourage others:
We encourage with our words
Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.
Speaking words of kindness is probably the first thing that comes to mind when we think about how to encourage others.
Just as the Bible has a lot to say about encouragement, it also has a lot to say about how we use our words, because our words have power.
We can use our words to encourage others by…
We encourage with our actions
In humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.
We can say encouraging things to others, but does how we treat them match up?
When we treat others with respect and care, it shows that we see them as people of worth, created in the image of God.
We encourage others with our actions by…
We encourage with our attitudes
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
The attitude Jesus had was one of humility, selflessness, and compassion (See Philippians 2:6-8).
Do we have this same attitude in our interactions with others?
If we say nice words and do nice deeds, but are proud, selfish, and indifferent in our hearts, we’re missing the whole point of encouraging others.
Because the encouraging things we say and do are to be both a testimony of the transformational work God has done in us, and a reflection of God’s character to others, to point them to Him.
We can encourage others with our attitude by…
We encourage with our faith
Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for God’s people everywhere, I have not stopped thanking God for you.
When we live out our faith, this can be an encouragement to others.
It can help them see the goodness and faithfulness of God, know they are not alone, have hope when things are hard, stand strong in the face of temptation, and be inspired to grow in their own faith in the Lord.
We can be an encouragement in our faith by…
I encourage you to look for ways you can be an encouragement to others, sharing with them the hope, joy, and confidence you have found in Christ.