The Power of Encouragement

Date: August 22, 2022

Helen, a junior high math teacher, could see one Friday that the lesson she was trying to teach was not going well. So, she asked the students to make a list of all the kids in the class and write the nicest thing they could think about each one. On the weekend, Helen took the lists and made each student a paper of all the nice things the class had said about him or her. On Monday, she passed out the lists to each student. The kids were surprised at how encouraging the remarks were.

Several years went by, and Helen was picked up at the airport by her parents.  As they drove home, they asked if she remembered Mark Eklund. She answered, “Yes, how is he?” They responded, “He was killed in Vietnam, and his parents asked if you could attend his funeral.”

Helen went to the funeral, and after the service, Mark’s parents pulled out his billfold and took out a piece of paper taped, folded and refolded many times, and asked if she remembered it. It was the paper she had compiled that weekend in junior high. Mark’s parents said, “He had it on him when he died and we want to thank you. As you can see, Mark treasured it very much.” Other classmates chimed in saying they also had kept their paper. Chuck had his in the top drawer of his desk at home. John’s wife said, “John asked me to put his in our wedding album. Marilyn said hers was in her diary. Vicki pulled hers from her purse, concluding, “I guess we all saved our lists.”  Helen said, “I sat down and cried. I never imagined the power of encouragement.”[1]

The Bible tells us, to “encourage one another and build one another up” (1 Thessalonians 5:12 ESV). Let’s do it!

[1] Adapted from, accessed 8-10-2021.