Good morning everyone,
Encouragement is something everyone needs and a lot of us feel it is something we very seldom ever receive and so it is very difficult to give out! The old adage of what you receive in typically is what you give out is not stretching the truth one bit! Webster defines encouragement as to incite, support, promote, reward, or to give an increase of confidence. The Scripture defines it to strengthen or stimulate; to instill with courage. In Romans 12:8, Paul says if your gift is to encourage others, do it! We've all been given the ability to do certain things well. For those of us who have been given the ability to encourage, don't try to hold on to it, but instead give it out and that just might be the start of something good! We live in a demanding world starting with our jobs, our responbilities at home, financial responsibilities and the list goes on and on! The last thing any one of us needs to hear is discouraging words from the ones that are closest to us. Of course, when we receive negative criticism, most of the time our human instinct is to fire back with the same negativity. The next time someone comes down on you hard, try and respond back in a positive way! Ask the Lord to give you the strength to respond in a way that is pleasing to Him. Give them a dose of kindness and see what happens. You really don't know the extent of what is going on inside their day until you take the time to listen. Maybe they are just fed up with life because they feel like they don't have anybody where venting is allowed. I don't want you to be a marriage counselor but just more understanding. The most encouraging hope you can ever give someone who feels discouraged is 1 Peter 1:5-6. 'And God, in His mighty power, will protect you until you receive this salvation, because you are trusting Him. It will be revealed on the last day for all to see. So be truly glad! There is a wonderful joy ahead, even though it is necessary for you to endure many trials for a while.' When no one else is around to give you encouraging words when you need it most, ask the One who gave you life to send someone your way!
Your brother in Christ,