Discover The Beauty Of Encouragement
Yesterday I met a friend I haven’t seen in quite a long time. Her natural loveliness draws your attention. But she has another characteristic that I think is the true secret to her attractiveness. She always makes the person she is talking to feel special. Whenever I meet her, she has a ready word that is complimentary and encouraging. I go away from talking with her feeling that I am special too.
Author and Bible teacher Anne Ortlund says, “There are two kinds of personalities in this world, and you are one of the two. People can tell which, as soon as you walk into a room: your attitude says either, ‘Here I am’ or ‘There you are.'”
Sometimes we’re so needy ourselves that we forget to think how we can bless someone else. Knowing that selfish tendency, Pastor Jim George advises, “With every encounter, make it your aim that people are better off for having been in your presence. Try in every encounter to give something to the other person.”
At least three times in the New Testament we’re reminded to “encourage one another.” In Paul’s list of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in Romans, chapter 12, he includes “encouraging.” Wouldn’t you like to spend time with a person who has that gift? Paul says, if encouraging is your gift, then encourage. On other words, use the gift.
OK, let’s get practical. What words of encouragement can you give today to one of your family members? Or your co-worker on the job–even your boss? Or maybe words won’t be the way you encourage someone who needs a lift. A handful of flowers would brighten their day. Or a short note saying how special they are. Or an email. Or a hug. Make the decision today to be an encourager.
 Anne Ortlund, The Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman (Waco, TX: Word, Incorporated, 1977), 96.
 Elizabeth George, A Woman After God’s Own Heart” (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1997), 205.