Encouragement; a Free yet Priceless Gift

 

For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Romans 15:4-6 NASB

 

Over the years of being self employed, a wife, mother, small group leader, aspiring writer and public speaker, I’ve learned something very important about myself. I need and value encouragement! There, I said it; I need encouragement! Whew, I feel so much better now. The reason I say this as if it’s a big secret or something to be ashamed of, is because I’ve heard it said that as Christ followers, we should not require worldly encouragement, only the encouragement we get from God and the bible. The need for encouragement or affirmation is somehow linked to being prideful. Each of my roles in life however, requires some form of encouragement in order to know I am on the right track. Without affirmation in each area, I would be prone to discouragement or the ugly thought of giving up.

Please do not misunderstand, the desire for appreciation or praise for something someone else or God should get credit for is most definitely a pride issue. But that is not what we are talking about here.

As the hands and feet of God, we are charged with the joyful task of encouraging one another. And, let us not forget, encouragement is one of the spiritual gifts! Isn’t it just like our God, to make the giving and receiving of encouragement a gift!?

Our key verse above makes it very clear that encouragement comes from God as a gift not only to be received, but also to give. We are to encourage one another in life, and more importantly, in spiritual matters. When life gets tough, we encourage each other to keep going, knowing our life reflects the glory of God. When the enemy targets us and tries to discourage us from something that brings honor and glory to God, it is we who are charged with making sure he is unsuccessful as we lift each other up in prayer and offer words of comfort and encouragement.

Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. 2 Corinthians 13:11-12 NIV (love the holy kiss part, but that’s for another devotional) ☺

Since launching my new website I’ve received a lot of affirmation from faithful friends and family. I am so very thankful for the kind words because they tell me I’m on the right track and am honoring God by my work.

I once heard it said; if it’s not a gift, make it a discipline. If you are not a person who easily shows appreciation to others, or who willingly encourages another, I challenge you to make it a discipline. Go ahead, try it. I promise you will find great joy in the smile you receive back. There is something precious in seeing someone delight in a surprise show of gratitude or appreciation. Kindness begets kindness……

This is one of my favorite quotes: “Appreciation is a free gift that you can give to anyone you encounter; it is completely your choice. And each time you choose to thank someone for a job well done, you are making the world a better place.” Barbara A. Glanz

Everyone needs a little pat on the back, a kind word and a little extra love now and then. Our children are in desperate need of our attention to this because of the plethora of negativity thrown at them every day. Our spouses need our attention to these details too. So many marriages would be saved if we all just took the time to show a little extra love, encouragement and gratitude to the one we vowed to love, honor and cherish. Find something, anything your child or spouse does that brings a smile to your face and tell them how it makes you feel. I promise it will lead to more smiles for all of you. ☺

So, how about you? Do you find yourself in need of encouragement too? Do you have the gift of encouragement? Do you find encouraging others a daunting task? Please leave a comment; others will be blessed by it. This is a safe place to chat. I’d love to hear from you and pray with you.

Heavenly Father, You are the ultimate gift giver. I thank You for the gift of encouragement, both the giving and receiving of it. I thank You for those who reach out to me when I need a pat on the back, or a listening ear. Please dear Father, help me to always be aware of when someone in my path needs a word of encouragement and appreciation. I appreciate You more than words can say!!  In Jesus’ name, amen.

9 comments to Encouragement; a Free yet Priceless Gift

  • Nancy Yoshida  says:

    Thank you Toni,
    I Too often feel the need for encouragement and then feel prideful because I do. I never want to take the glory away from God and give it to myself. I loved your article and the way you pointed out how easily we get discouraged and then tempted to quit.
    1Thessalonians 5:11 says:
    “encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” I find it very easy to be an encourager and now I am going to admit I need encouragement too. If it hadn’t been for all of your personal encouragement and love to me, I wouldn’t be where I am now in encouraging others.
    Love and abundant blessings.
    Nan

    • Toni  says:

      Oh my dear sweet Nancy, how I love and miss you! Thank you so much for such a thoughtful response. It is such a balancing act to figure out what is ok to need and what becomes prideful in the encouragement and appreciation department. But I do believe with all my heart, that God uses us as His tool to show us how proud He is of us as we strive to let our lights shine for His glory. A thoughtful word of kindness and encouragement gives us the lift we need to keep going. Thank you my dear friend for always being an encourager to me. Remember you are loved so much!!

  • Sheila  says:

    I agree with your friend 🙂 I am always encouraged when I read your posts and the edification of the body. I often find the world is a place of tear down which brings a tear down of our souls. Sometimes, I struggle in the battle of the flesh against what I want to hear versus what I NEED to hear. Someone can give me a compliment and the enemy can be right there trying to whisper in my ear, “They didn’t mean it” or “If they only knew the real you”….and use the gift of encouragement against me. This is why it is so good to encourage and be like-minded so we can glorify God together…just like the scripture states 🙂

    • Toni  says:

      Sheila,
      Thank you so much Sheila!! I love the way you put this. I agree, sometimes the enemy can even use kind words to tear us down. I think it’s a trust issue when it comes to those we know truly love us. We need to trust the “Jesus” in them as He loves us through them.
      Please do not ever let someones good words about or to you become a weapon from the one who wants to tear you down. You are a wonderful woman of God who deserves nothing but the best. ☺

  • Trease  says:

    I thank God for the gift of encouragement. I think nothing of giving it away. I have always loved your encouragement and wisdom in those times of need. This writing was beautiful. You definately have a gift with words. Thank you for the birthday card. You are the first this year. All is well here. I am finally enjoying my time off of work. I plan on going to the new V.A. hospital when it is open to volunteer my time. I would really like to work there in some capacity. We’ll have to talk soon. I miss you very much. Keep up the encouragements. You’re doing exactly what He wants you to do. Love you.

  • Joshua  says:

    Amazing! I love you!

    • Toni  says:

      I love you too!!

  • Michael Craft  says:

    Toni, I was never encouraged by my parents in my teens–always dragged down by negative remarks. I think that’s why it’s hard for me to receive encouraging words from others without suspecting them of secret selfish motives. It’s weird to have 2 opposing thoughts–I love the kind words yet I push them away; but in the end I am encouraged because God has to flick me on the head and remind me to quit listening to the lies of my past. You are a delight! By the way, we have taken over your favorite restaurant, Thai Basil. Gary, Kathy and I go at least once a month! Yes, be jealous and envious! We love you!

    • Toni  says:

      Michael,

      So sorry for not responding to your comment sooner. One of the reasons I wrote this post is due to myself and so many others I know who find themeselves in the same situation; no encouragement growing up, from a spouse or even peers as adults. I find it so important not to mention biblical to lift each other up with as much encouragement as possible. Letting others know my own need for approval and encouragement seems like the best way to get that sort of conversation started.

      Hug each other for me! Love and miss you both!

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