I thought I might return to my roots and begin producing a Sunday Sermon again! Fret not if you’re not into sermons – this is for everyone, not just for those who attend Church (which I don’t either, currently).
“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”
Today’s little message is on the vital importance of encouragement… encouragement as a daily prescription for psychological and spiritual health.
Encourage is a wonderful word isn’t it – the english splits to ‘en’ and ‘courage’ – which could be a message in itself – how we can put courage into one another.
The Greek meaning here is more of an intimate urging – to bring comfort or even bring motivation to action. It is to act as a catalyst to help someone convert inertia into momentum.
Your Personal Coach
Being an encourager is like being somebody’s personal coach – and on a daily basis. You lovely gym goers will know about the power of having a personal trainer. Well this is a personal trainer or coach for your soul. The Scripture here is suggesting this is a role for all of us. Part of our mission as fully-paid-up-members-of-the-Human-Race is to encourage others. What do you think of that description:
I first heard that used to describe Vanda North (www.mindchi.com). It seemed a very loving way to describe someone. When I met Vanda I understood why. Here is someone who is fully subscribed to being all that’s good about Humanity: compassion, humour, joy… and encouragement. Vanda is one of those people who sees no value in using one exclamation mark when three would be better!!! I have never left a meeting with Vanda without feeling encouraged…
So how about that as a role for you and me too?
It’s a simple mission: seek to encourage everyone you meet – and on a daily basis!
Of course, there would be consequences!
- We might have to cut down on complaining or gossiping – because they’re not very encouraging to hear about are they?
- It might not work! And for this reason, encouraging others needs to be our intention regardless of the outcome.
- It might be catching!
I thought that would excite you! Sclerosis is a word used to describe the hardening of body tissues. The one that interests me here is the heart – the spiritual heart. It seems that a lack of daily encouragement can lead to a hardening of the heart. Here it mentions “sin’s deceitfulness” – but I don’t want to be all preachy. My single point is that discouragement might as well be called sin because it is so destructive and deceitful. Encouragement is positively righteous!
I’ve met thousands of people with a hard heart… and perhaps thousands more on the way to a hard heart. It is not attractive. Well, at least we know the rememdy: daily encouragement. The Doctor can keep her apple, I’d prefer encouragement any day!
Our Mission/Hour Mission
So are you ready for our Mission briefing? Being an encourager (or “fully-paid-up-member-of-the-Human-Race”) is about being creative. Why? Well some people are going to pose a challenge! Can you find something good to say about everyone you meet each day?!!! If not, there’s a “Plan B”. Plan B is to find something good to say to everyone you meet.
That will still take creativity – especially if you’re not feeling so good yourself – but it can be done. You see:
“Action follows attention…”
Psychologically, action follows our thinking patterns (obviously!) And our thinking patterns are stimulated by where our attention is. Where is your attention? By drawing someone’s attention to something encouraging, you tamper with their mindset in a good way! I don’t usually feel happy after watching the News, do you? But five minutes with Vanda, and I’m grinning like a joyous chap! I’d love to be able to have that effect on others.
Hour Mission… how about having this as an hourly ambition and mission – find something good to say to someone each hour. Sounds exhausting? Actually it’s the nutrition that feeds and fuels life – because I promise you that you’ll find that when you encourage others, you’ll end up feeling encouraged and energised yourself.