Friday, July 1, 2011

Food for Thought Friday: Are You an Encourager?

Woo hoo! I haven't done one of these in a long time, and I really love the Food for Thought Friday posts! I wanted to encourage you to do a little reflecting today and examine the people in your life; as well as yourself.  We are called to be encouragers.  Are you living up to your calling?

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.- Ephesians 4:29
 
Therefore comfort one another with these words. -1 Thess 4:18
 
But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. -Hebrews 3:13

I know we can all think of people who are just absolutely magnetic, uplifting, enjoyable to be around, positive, and full of enthusiasm and joy.  We can also probably think of some people that are miserable to be around, always negative or sick or hurting, always going through trials, and they just absolutely drain the life out of us. Which of these categories would others place you in? Where would you put yourself? I would imagine most of us probably put ourselves somewhere in the middle of that spectrum, but we really should strive to be the positive encouragers I talked about first, because that's what God calls us to be. I want people to see my joy, look forward to being around me, and feel comfortable, confident, and uplifted in my presence. I don't want to bring others down.  So today, I am asking God to help me be the encourager I need to be.

  And here's where it gets tough. Ya know those people that suck the life out of you? Typically I would say cut them out of your life because we don't need people that bring us down, but honestly, is that what Christ would do?  I think we should just change our attitudes toward them.  Instead of listening to them whine and then talking about how negative they are behind their back later, we should treat them like Christ would.  Pray for them, send them Scriptures, counter every complaint with a reason to be full of Praise & thankfulness and joy.  What if we just loved on them until they can feel Christ's presence every time they thought of us? Wow.  Can you imagine?!?  We'll either annoy the snot out of them, or encourage them to the point that they begin to make a change. 

I'm not talking about being bubbly, giddy, cheerleader (although there is nothing wrong with that!), I am just talking about letting the joy of our salvation shine through.  Yes, the world around us sucks right now, but we have FAR MORE to look forward to and be thankful for, so there isn't any reason for us to act sad, depressed, and negative like the world.

One thing I like to do is ask people how I can pray for them. And then I make sure to do it.  I also make sure to let people know when I'm praying for them, because I love to know when someone is praying for me.

As a wife (for those of you that are wives), we are also called to be encouragers and helpmates to our husbands.  I pray for Jonathan daily, multiple times a day, and he knows that.  I also do what I can to encourage him spiritually. I let him know that I appreciate him being the spiritual leader in our home, and I try to make our home happy place for him.  Many women are more of naggers than encouragers. They focus on what their husband doesn't do instead of the many things he does do for her and their family.  Can you imagine how much better our marriages would be if we could focus on the positive things about our husbands rather than the negative? And if we'd try to encourage him??  I recently bought us a Bible study to do together in the evenings
as well as a book on c.d. for Jon to listen to during his commute to and from work.  He normally listens to the Fish or talk radio, but won't it be nice for him to listen to the book Radical (which I highly recommend, by the way!) instead since he doesn't really have enough free time to read and will help him grow spiritually?
Let's be the encouragers we're called to be.

1 comment:

Dana + Ryan said...

SOOOOOOO TRUE! I love your Food for Thought Friday posts. They are definitely a great reminder to us all. I'm lucky to have you as an encourager in my life. My friend Sara read that book and I'd like to check into it as soon as my pile of reading dwindles! LOVE YOU!