Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What is Encouragement?

My friend Deb Aho writes, "Encouragement means to 'put the heart into someone.' Discouragement means to 'take the heart out.'"

She knows that best as that is what she and her husband Brian do for people all over the world. They have a special heart for missionaries who are struggling to serve, lonely and discouraged. She says they come alongside to help and stand with them in the struggle.

She writes, an encourager is not 'a cheerleader standing on the side, nor is she a train engine pulling someone along. And she's not a bulldozer pushing from behind either.

The Bible actually uses this word to describe someone yoked side-by-side with the one she's encouraging, just as two oxen, yoked together, push toward the same goal. This kind of encouragement means we don't tell our friend what needs to be done. Rather, we help her do it. We don't just watch the struggles she's having--we go through them with her.

We rejoice when the other rejoices, we weep when the other weeps. We push together toward a common goal.'

Someone is waiting for your encouragement today.
You can do it.

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