I wish I could remember who it was that defined “encourage” as “to press courage into”. I DO remember that I took heart when I heard that little definition and resolved to press courage into those around me whenever I had the chance.
Years later I would hear for the first time and come to agree that “exhortation” (encouraging) is the spiritual gift that drives the others in my gift-mix. Thank you, Bill Hull – you changed my outlook from that day to this!
So when I read these words in Hebrews 10 (this from Eugene Peterson’s The Message) : … So, friends, we can now – without hesitation – walk right up to God, into “the Holy Place.” Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of his sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The “curtain” into God’s presence is his body. 20 21 22 So let’s do it – full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. 23 Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. 24 Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, 25 not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching. … verse 24 & part of 25 kind of stand up off the page for me. (emphasis mine)
My sister Jonell is a quote-hound, as they’re affectionately called, and sent this one to me a long time ago: Be nice. Everyone you meet today is going through SOMEthing. You just don’t know what it is.
So I figure, if I can press courage into someone, spur them on, and enjoy when God whispers “THAT one” to me as I go through my day, why not?
Yesterday I noticed one of our team leaders at work was carrying more than her fair share — of something. I just didn’t know what it was. Her usual youthful vibrance seemed (to me at least) to be wearing thin. So I went to my favorite place for E-cards guaranteed to make you laugh right out loud (they’re SO obnoxious ya’ just can’t help it!) and sent one to her [ this one ]. And I told her she was doing a good job (like my opinion matters… she’s above me on the corporate ladder!) I didn’t know what its effect would be, I just knew the Lord whispered her name, and I obeyed.
This morning when I came in there was a note from her in my Email inbox with these words:
Thanks……I needed something to smile about today and you always seem to know how to get it out of me 🙂 …
I smiled. Mission accomplished!
OK… now it’s your turn. Whose name did the Lord just whisper to you? Send em an encourageUgram while you’re still thinking about it. You can use that link above if you don’t know where to start. Maybe a phone call. A note on a steering wheel. A smiley slipped into their lunch-bag. Or best of all, poke your head around the corner and deliver it in person. Press some courage into someone – they may even thank you for it! Phil —