To View the Video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/7NE1syLtUw0
In this final installment of our series exploring fundamental character traits for cultivating thriving relationships, we transition from gratitude to delve into the concept of encouragement.
Encouragement is the lifeline that often determines our response to crises or celebrations. Think about it - when something amazing or challenging happens, who do you turn to first? Likely, it's someone who brings encouragement rather than negativity. Whether it's a spouse, child, coworker, friend, or family member, every relationship benefits from the presence of an encourager. As children of God, we are called to embody this role of an encourager.
Proverbs 16:21-24 reminds us, "The wise of heart is called discerning, and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness. Good sense is a fountain of life to him who has it, but the instruction of fools is folly. The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious and adds persuasiveness to his lips. Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body."
Proverbs 12:25 echoes the sentiment, stating, "Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad."
Five Steps to Becoming an Encourager:
1. Develop personal confidence rooted in gratitude and a secure identity in Christ. An overflowing cup of assurance enables us to pour encouragement into the lives of others. If we are bogged down with insecurity and comparison, we will never be quick to encourage others.
2. Provide people with clear reasons and direction. Encouragement, at its core, points others in the right direction, offering a sense of purpose and guidance.
3. Care about individuals for who they are, not just for their productivity. True encouragement stems from a genuine concern for the well-being and growth of others.
4. Ensure that your ego doesn't drive your encouragement. Authenticity is paramount, and people can discern sincerity from self-serving motivations.
5. Practice active listening with the intention of understanding others' hearts. Genuine encouragement comes from a place of empathy and an authentic interest in others' lives.