Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Become an Encourager

Have you noticed that discouragement seems to be at epidemic levels? Most working environments are flooded with discouragement, and many times our homes are full of discouraging words. 
As Christians, being an encourager is not an option, it's a directive. Christians should be people who strengthen the feeble and exhausted with encouraging words.

Can you think of someone in the feeble and/or exhausted category right now? Maybe it’s a co-worker or your manager. They may put on a face that says, "I have it all together and I don't need anyone."  But don't let that fool you. Just like you and me, they need to hear encouraging words, words of hope and cheer—and they need to hear them from you.

We also need to encourage people who have failed. Barnabas was that kind of an encourager.  When Mark had failed and the Apostle Paul didn't want to give him another chance, Barnabas insisted on allowing Mark to travel with them. So, when they could not agree, Paul went one way with Silas, and Barnabas and Mark went another way.

Later on Paul asks Timothy to get Mark and bring him for "Mark is useful to me for service." You don't have to fill in too many blanks to see what happened. Barnabas had taken Mark, taught him, encouraged him, and Mark had become a profitable servant of Jesus Christ. Obviously, Paul recognized this, too, and I imagine Paul learned a valuable lesson from Barnabas. It is really important to encourage people at times of failure.

If you know someone who is struggling with failure, encourage them. They need to know that all is not lost and they can go from where they are. 

Encourage the exhausted and strengthen the feeble.  Say to those with anxious heart, "Take courage, fear not."

                                                                                                                                Isaiah 35:3-4

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