Encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
1 THESSALONIANS 5:11
My own personal definition of the word “encouragement” is to catch someone doing something right and to tell him or her. When we encourage someone, the words we say need to be true. Encouragement can transform another person and give them hope for a brighter future.
Encouragement is an important part of the First Place 4 Health program. In our classes, we are assigned one person each week to pray for and encourage. I have never been disappointed when I take the time to call my prayer partner on the phone. I learn things about this person that I would never learn in class, and then I know how to encourage her or him even more. Getting to know another person is the key to being an encourager in a person’s life.
I have seen God work miracles through the simple act of encouragement. When a woman in a miserable marriage begins to encourage her husband when she catches him doing something right; God uses her encouragement to begin the healing of her marriage. A mom or dad begins encouraging their rebellious teenager when they catch him/her doing something right, and before long, God begins to soften the child’s hard heart.
Encouragement is like a soothing balm put on a bad burn; it takes away the pain. Life is hard, and all of us need those “atta girl” or “atta guy” encouragements from people in our life. I always try to remember that it takes a lot of encouragement to counteract criticism.
Criticism, rather than inducing good behavior, causes us to put up a wall. Encouragement, on the other hand, takes down those walls one brick at a time.
Action Item: Do you know someone who needs a word of encouragement from you today? Try giving encouragement instead of criticism. You won’t be sorry.
First Place for Health National Director Emeritus
Devotional taken from Better Together devotional, available now in the FP4H online store.