Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Two Sides of Encouragement

There are two components to encouragement--needing encouragement yourself and knowing how to encourage others. One has to do with an inner life and the other with the outer life. I have found one of the first steps to being an encourager to others is to know how to encourage yourself. How can you be there for others if you are not there for yourself?

Does that mean an encourager never feels depressed or down from the dull ache of life? Do encouragers always feel happy and upbeat. Of course not.

Encouragers feel sadness, insecurity, uncertainty, loneliness...maybe even more than the average person. They know it's perfectly ok to do so, in fact it's what makes them passionate about the difference caring can make. Isaiah spoke about the 'treasures of darkness'; Hosea spoke of the tender love God shows in the barren desert of the soul. Only those who have deeply felt previous pain can truly comfort those in current crisis.

Encouragers know God allows the night so the light becomes brighter and they believe with all their being that purpose is to showcase this transformation.

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