In the past two days, I've had women share some kind remarks that have particularly encouraged me. Interestingly, last week I participated in a discussion on encouragement with some pastors' wives. From that talk, given by my pastor's wife actually, I was struck by every single person's need for encouragement. Don't you think that we often assume some people don't need as much motivation to persevere as others? That may possibly be true , but that does not disregard the need for every person to be lifted up from time to time. Steve Green has a memory verse CD for children (and incidentally their parents) and whenever I see the following verse I can't help but break out into song...
Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up... 1 Thessalonians 5:11
The alternative to this construction work in one another's lives is destruction work. My children's memory verse CD gives this opposite behavior some attention by pointing out that when we're not building one another up, we are, in fact, tearing one another down.
It's easy to tear things down, isn't it? My oldest son was a Legos fan when he was younger. He spent hours building the Star Wars "Droid MTT carrier" (look it up if you're curious!). Much toil and labor went into creating this work of art, but with one clumsy move of my arm one day, I obliterated it in seconds.
My mouth can clumsily destroy another person when I discourage her. My actions can tear down, instead of build up, my home. My lack of gratitude can deconstruct any good that another person accomplished.
So, how about you? Who needs to be encouraged in your life? What needs to be re-built that has been destroyed? How will you go about doing this and making it a daily pattern?
I adore words. If you know me, you might call me "Windy" instead of "Wendy". :) When I was considering the word encourage, I found inspire as a plausible synonym. So, here's the meaning of inspire: to excite, encourage or breathe life into.
Breathe life into!
How can this be? This is God's work, isn't it? Our creator God breathing life into dry bones. Could our encouragement of others be a dim reflection of His life-giving and supernatural work? I know that discouraging words can feel like a death knell so it only makes sense that the opposite would usher life.
Daily, let's seek the Lord and call upon His power so we can build one another up instead of tear one another down. Let's stop what we're doing and write/text/call someone to tell her thank you. Let's consider ahead of time and purpose to speak something that will spur another on toward love and good works.
It's always encouraging to hear about encouraging others,isn't it? But, don't let it fall flat. Don't listen and then forget this exhortation as soon as you walk away from your computer. Ask God today how you can change a destruction zone into a construction zone. Maybe this is a friendship. Maybe this is your home. Maybe this is your marriage. Move forward each day from here in the encouragement of the Lord.