To Bless with Encouragement

‘Today will never come again. Be a blessing. Be a friend. Encourage someone. Take time to care. Let your words heal and not wound.’ (author unknown)

We all love receiving words of encouragement. A text with a simple quote can instantly challenge – and change - our whole perspective on life. A humorous picture posted on social media can bring smiles and laughter. An unexpected note that pops up in our inbox or lands in our mailbox can often make the burdens of the day fade away.  

It feels good to live the reality of Paul’s instructions in 1 Thessalonians 5:11 to ‘Encourage one another and build each other up.’

The speed and way in which we are able to connect with and encourage others has exploded in just my lifetime. I remember when my father broke down and installed a new phone jack allowing us to use a ‘touch tone’ phone that had a clip-ended wire jack. We were going from ‘hard wired’ dial to ‘mobile’ tone. Pretty fancy! Soon cordless phones were the new thing. No more tangled cords, and you could walk anywhere in your house while carrying on a conversation. All mind-boggling advancements in technology when they came on the scene!

Fast forward a few more years to the days when a thing called cellular phones came on the scene. They were bulky in size and had an extending antenna to help receive a signal. Cell phones soon emerged that fit into our palms. And yet, flip-phones are now becoming extinct and most kids have no idea that the letter I – as in Ipad or Ipod – signifies that an apple was a significant part of its development. Interestingly, many kids today don’t even know that some phones only make calls – no games, no cameras, no Siri (Is she a relative of Webster?) It won’t be long before kids have no comprehension that the telephone was originally designed for conversations with human beings!

When I was told in high school that we’d all be talking on ‘picture phones’ in our lifetime, I thought they were nuts. My friends and I just couldn’t wrap our heads around the fact that we’d have to be dressed and presentable every time we wanted to call someone. Yet, my teacher was totally on target. Dial phones are dinosaurs. We’re not limited to phones that hang on a wall or sit on a table in our houses. Instead, they can be carried in our pockets or accessed from our cars. I’ve gone from scrimping every penny to pay for long-distance charges to Skyping for my mother so she could see her first great granddaughter who lived thousands of miles away from us. In all reality, it wasn’t that long ago that the words texting, email and google and the letters www and http didn’t mean a thing to any of us!

So, now what? Are we using our screen time to grow relationships and advance the Gospel? The mode and methods of communication have changed drastically even in the past decade. However, the importance of connecting with and encouraging others is more valuable than ever.

God told Moses to “Encourage him [Joshua], because he will lead Israel to inherit it.” (Deuteronomy 1:38) The Promised Land! What if Joshua hadn’t been encouraged by Moses to move forward? The outcome of the Israelites – and our lives today – could have been so different. Oh, to have those who have gone before us encourage us into the places that God will lead us. Words of blessing and hope are such a precious gift to receive as well as to share with the those who follow us. Paul highlighted the blessing of investing in others in Romans 1:12b when he reminded the believers that by encouraging others, they “may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” We all need encouragement, and we all need each other to keep that cycle of faith and hope going strong.

So, what will you tweet, share, text or speak today to purposefully seek to encourage others in your life? May we each actively live our days as encouragers and builders of those who God has placed into our lives each and every day!


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