But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called ‘Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Hebrews 3:12
When we encourage, we put courage into someone else. We often are encouraged too, but not necessarily by the one we encouraged or even by someone else. When we know we gave someone courage, we experience the benefit of knowing we did it and knowing we can do it again.
Have you ever noticed how truly valuable things pay us when we give them away? We are encouraged when we encourage. Giving encouragement doesn’t reduce the supply of it in the world. When we give encouragement, we increase the supply. And the supply creates demand.
I think the opposite of encourage is criticize. Other words that come to mind include blame and judge. I wonder how many people changed their minds about gun control in the last couple of weeks because of something someone said about gun control on Facebook. But I have no doubt people were changed by being encouraged. In the least, they leaned into their better self. They considered again, the best of what they could be. They remembered a buried dream or an ideal. They considered the possibilities.
Maybe they took action. Maybe your encouragement helped them take the step, sign on the dotted line, or click the button to start something meaningful. Eight years ago, thirteen people encouraged me at an event called Leaderpalooza. I clicked the buttons to create The Follower of One community as a direct result of that encouragement 8 years ago. And everyone there became a friend.
Who can you encourage today? Who can you remind about the power and plan of God? Your encouragement will soften others to the ideals and dreams of being their best. Encouragement is the antidote for being hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Your encouragement will soften others to the hope God gave them and the promise he made by creating us. Your encouragement matters.