Last week during our staff devotions we talked about the how we can encourage each other and those around us; how we can be encouragers of the heart and how there is power in speaking words of affirmation and encouragement to others.
What a remarkable opportunity this provides for us to speak into the lives of one another, to encourage one other, to build each other up. At times life is difficult and we are challenged, we get tired and we become despondent. But oh, what an amazing blessing it is when someone recognises that need for encouragement and speaks into our lives. It has the power to transform where we’re at and lift our spirits.
A beautiful example of the power of using words of encouragement to build others was during the X Factor final earlier this term. It was a moment, a snapshot that was rather unremarkable in its ordinariness. However, I had the privilege to observe it play out before me. I got to witness how it spoke to the heart of the young man who was initially discouraged; it was a moment that moved his heart from despair to joy.
One of the contestants was placed second in the finals; his friends who were sitting a few rows from him saw his heart. They recognised his disappointment and saw the burden. One of them called out, “Great job!” and smiled, this in turn caused a ripple effect in the row. Suddenly five boys were animated, giving him the thumbs up, encouraging him with calls, faces showing encouragement and affirming that his performance was valuable and enjoyable; a job well done! His shoulders straightened; his disappointment turned to joy. What a powerful picture that was, to see the impact of their words and actions and the difference they made for one person in that moment.
Thessalonians 1: 5 instructs us to ‘encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.’ I would encourage you to be encouragers of each other, of our children, those we meet in our workplace or those with whom we come into contact. Seek opportunities to speak into the hearts of those around you. It is a blessing and a privilege to speak into the lives of those around us. What an amazing impact this can have not only on those whose hearts are being encouraged, but on those who encourage others’ hearts.