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Bring the Sunshine. T.H.R.I.V.E., #16. 'E' >Exercise Encouragement to THRIVE

Encouragement is like sunshine. It costs nothing …

it warms hearts and enriches lives. Truth is, encouragement is a gift to the soul. Our souls THRIVE when we Encourage others. In the middle of the word encourage is courage, which is built from the root word ‘cor’ - heart. To live with courage is to live fully from one’s heart; indeed, it is more than bravery! To encourage is to “give support, confidence, or hope to (someone).” I like to think of it as sort of giving a little piece of my heart to another. Sometimes an encourager is a guide along our path, someone who will say ‘you can do it… I know you can! Here, go this way… I will help you.’ Notice the role of the guides leading courageous blind Erik Weihenmayer climbing Mt. Everest: I love that clip! If you think about it, encouragement usually comes in relationship, in connectivity. It would not be too big of a stretch to say that ‘to encourage someone just might save his life’ as I saw working with people who lived on the mean streets of Long Beach. To encourage a young man gave the opportunity to better his course; to encourage a young woman helped her believe in what was possible. That is the way of Jesus, you know. The apostle Paul was a great Encourager, praying for those he loved so much—such as the Philippians, with whom he established a church some 12 years earlier. Picturing their faces he wrote, ‘I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel…it is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart . . .’ Ah, love. from Philippians 1.3-6. No wonder he had written to the Thessalonians, 'encourage each other and build one another up, just as fact you are already doing.' Now this last phrase is noteworthy - Paul commends the community for doing a good job of encouraging one another. 'That's good . . . now keep it up,' Paul cheerleads from the stands. Huh, so good. I think as parents we are in danger of not encouraging the 'easy' child/the 'achieving' child like we do the one who needs constant props. 'Know what I'm saying? I have been guilty of this, and I gotta do better. Words are so powerful - in one breath, we can build someone up, and in the next, tear them down. Whereas "Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body." Proverbs 16.24 Segue ~ I have an essential oil diffuser that my friend gave me; I enjoy trying out several of the oils. But I have thought before, what if there was an essential oil called Encouragement?? (I'm pretty sure it would smell like tangerines.) Just think, the oil of Encouragement would be diffused and fill a room with good feelings! How about if you and I determine to be that oil of Encouragement today? Let’s be the person who looks for the good, looks for things to affirm—a kind word, a note that says ‘I’m thinking of you’, a text message that says, ‘I’m with you…I know this is a hard time, but I’m praying for you. You’re not alone!’ 'Good job persevering in faith; I know it has been hard.' Encouragement really is a lot like sunshine. Let’s do what the good Word says and encourage others ... let's spread some sunshine! Christine

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