Encourage Someone Today!
Apr 17, 2022 1020
It seems so hard for many people to go and encourage someone! The odd thing about encouragement is that no matter how much you think that you need encouragement, there is actually always someone who needs encouragement more than you do.
The reason why the pastime of criticising others is so popular is because when you criticise another you get the instant response of the other person, and an immediate sense of power. But it’s false gratification.
You will always achieve far more through encouragement than through criticism. This is not easy to realise, because there are so many negative people around us. But Marcial Losada, an organizational psychologist studied the emotions of business teams. He found that the highest-performing business teams had at least 2.9 good feelings for every negative feeling.
When we encourage someone, we experience positive emotions, which means that we’re more likely to have an inclusive focus, more concentration, and our cognitive abilities are increased. The opposite generally happens when we are criticised and experience the resulting negative emotions.
That’s why if you’re upset at what someone else has done, that person may need for you to point out their fault in a kind and appropriate manner. However, if you want them to change, don’t criticise them! Thee way to help them improve is to encourage someone instead!
If you want your life to change, try to encourage someone.
Criticising others seems to be a particularly popular pastime for Christians. In fact, there are some Christians who see it as some kind of virtue, as if judging and condemning others were a spiritual gift. But if you look at any of the lists of spiritual gifts in the New Testament, the gift of criticism is never mentioned once!
Encouragement is born of love; criticism is born of the opposite of love. Love is the central and greatest Christian virtue. The Bible describes the qualities of genuine love as the antithesis of criticism:
Love is patient, love is kind… It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking… it keeps no record of wrongs… And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love (1 Cor. 13:4,5,13.)
Unfortunately, the reality is that Christians are known in society more for being critical of others than for being loving. This is the opposite to what Jesus said, when he said, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples… (John 13:35). His disciples were to be known by their love.
Encouragement builds people up and develops healthy relationships. A marriage in which one partner doesn’t encourage the other will wither away. A child who isn’t encouraged will fail to develop confidence and a proper sense of identity. This applies to every relationship you may be in, including in work and church.
God would have had every right to send his Son into the world to condemn us.
The ultimate encourager is Jesus himself. If anyone had the right to condemn, it’s Jesus himself, yet he clearly said,
If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world (John 12:47.)
Jesus came, fundamentally, not to criticise, but to encourage. It would have been easy for him to have come to simply point out our sins and shortcomings, but that wasn’t his purpose in coming. Instead, that was the purpose of the law of God, which the people already had. Jesus came to save.
The Gospel of John reinforces the same powerful message:
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him (John 3:17.)
God would have had every right to send his Son into the world to preach at us and condemn us. However, that’s not what he did. He came to show us his love. He came to encourage us. Ultimately, Jesus came to save us.
Our lives would be very different if we paid more attention to encouragement. If we want our lives to change, as well as the lives of those around us, we should focus more on intentionally encouraging others, and doing so regularly.
So, start today! Go on and encourage someone.