Throughout this month of December, I’ve been musing as to what kinds of gifts I desire to give. I first presented the quiet of serenity and peace in the midst of all that’s going on in our world and in our personal lives; the second, the gift of patience—addressed both the challenges and rewards of waiting. Again, my thoughts and prayers this week have been centered on what else God wants to give us and what He wants us to give to each other.
A number of things came to mind but here’s what stood out for me: How much we need to receive and how much we need to give the gift of encouragement. The internet definitions of this word include “the action of giving someone support, confidence, or hope”, “persuasion to do or to continue something” and “the act of trying to stimulate the development of an activity, state, or belief.” In other words, the purpose of encouragement is to provide that extra stimulus that makes the difference between moving on or giving up.
Encouragement is diverse and for that reason, everyone can participate. There’s no need to be rich or famous to offer a smile to a person who’s grocery shopping, no need to be well-known or easily recognized (with or without wearing a mask) to pass on a genuine compliment or an opportunity to support local food banks or anonymously paying the lunch bill for someone struggling.
Above all, let’s never forget to pray for and to encourage those in leadership. Be they a local pastor or church board, business leaders, neighbours, and those serving in any capacity, it’s important to lift them up to the Lord, asking Him how and when we can bless them with words or deeds of encouragement.
“Therefore, encourage one another.” (1 Thessalonians 5)
Linda Wegner, Author & Speaker—Words of Worth
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