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Did you know that today is National Encouragement Day? Yup. An entire day has been set aside to encourage (hmmm…) people to encourage one another. I. Love. This. I mean, that is the reason I started blogging, to encourage others. What exactly does it mean to encourage someone?
Well, according to good old Mr. Webster, the definition of the word encourage is, “give support, confidence, or hope to (someone).” Expanding on that first definition, the second definition is, “give support and advice to (someone) so that they will do or continue to do something.”
Synonyms of this word are listed as: support, back, champion, promote, further, foster, nurture, cultivate, strengthen, stimulate, help, assist, aid, boost, fuel, hearten, cheer, buoy up, uplift, inspire, motivate, spur on, stir, stir up, fire up, stimulate, invigorate, vitalize, revitalize, embolden, fortify, rally, buck up, pep up…the list goes on and on.
Encourage is also a verb. That means, it is an action and action takes work. If you dissect that meaning, then you would assume that if you take some time to work at encouraging someone, then they, in turn, will encourage someone else. It’s like a chain reaction of kindness will start.
Guess what? God calls us to encourage one another. A lot. In fact, you will find verse after verse where God calls us in some fashion to encourage one another. In my experience, when God repeats himself in Scripture, it’s for added emphasis. It’s important. One of my favorite verses of encouragement is a verse that really sums up Mr. Webster’s definition of encourage quite well:
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25 NIV)
Notice it says, consider in that verse? God wants us to consider how we can spur one another on. I don’t know about you, but when I am considering whether to do something, I am putting a lot of thought into it. God wants us to spend some time considering how we may encourage one another. God then promises that the people we encourage, through the love of God that we have shown them, will then encourage and pass God’s love onto others. Furthermore, he says as the Day approaches, we need to encourage others even more. He is referring to the day of Jesus’ return. Since the Bible tells us that no one, not even Christ himself, knows the day of His return, we can conclude that God wants us to be a constant state of encouraging others, bringing His light and love to them, so they will, in turn, encourage and bring light and love to someone else.
I want to encourage you (see what I did there?) to make this entire week a week of encouraging others, not just today. It is relatively sad that a day must be put aside and hash tagged for people to kind to one another, but I suppose, it is needed in today’s chaotic and easily offended world where Satan is allowed to roam free, and whispers words of discouragement in people’s ears. Then, if you can make it a week, make it two, then three, until you have cultivated a daily habit of encouraging someone every, single day.
Find someone, anyone, who needs encouraging, and do something (remember, encourage is an action!) to lift them up, to invigorate, to inspire motivate, embolden them. Grab your kids and brainstorm ideas that you can do as a family to encourage someone.
I am happy to say that my friends at Day Spring have, for the second year, an encouragement dare taking place this week (September 9-15th). Simply click here to sign up, and they will send you awesome resources and ideas to help you participate in their encouragement dare. I hope you join me! I will be sharing things this week as well, over on my Facebook page to inspire you in your encouragement dare, so be sure to like my page by clicking here to be in the encouragement loop.
No matter what, remember, He’s got your back!