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Sunshine walks into the room. 




Encouragement is like verbal sunshine . 

It costs nothing, warms hearts and enriches lives.  Truth is, encouragement is a gift to the soul. 

 

In the middle of the word is courage, which is built from the root word 'cor', meaning 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).   In keeping with the meaning of the word, I like to think of it as 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 W eihenmayer climbing Mt. Everest in this great short video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AE1ZdO7ppLo  


The opportunity to encourage someone usually comes in relationship, in connectivity, but taking notice of someone who is hurting or in distress might happen as you watch your young athlete run up and down the soccer field. You might see the pain in someone's eyes in the hardware store or at the gym. It would not be too big of a stretch to say that 'to encourage someone just might save his life'! (I certainly saw this working with people who lived on the mean streets of Long Beach--Bloods, Crips, the addicted, mentally ill and disenfranchised) To encourage a young man may set his course; to encourage a young woman may change her course and help her believe SHE CAN. Just sayin', isn't that what Jesus did for us?

 

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 10 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.


The greatest encouragement I know to give is what I have gained from Jesus. Words of love, not judgment or criticism~

After all, the tongue has the power of life and death.1  We can choose words that breathe kindness ~ because gracious words are like honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.2   

       Words that have encouraged my heart for decades point to the Peace-Giver, who said, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you ..." Jesus.3

 

It was many years ago when I read about the "five love languages" - ways that people communicate love, from an emotional standpoint.  Words of affirmation top the list of the love languages.4 Turns out, encouragement is quite important in conveying love for others!

 

Segue ~ before you roll your eyes, hear me out a moment. You know those essential oil diffusers? I was given eucalyptus, lavender and peppermint drops that I enjoy, but I got to thinking the other day, 

    What if there was an essential oil called Encouragement??  

Just think, its aroma would fill a room with good feelings, right? I think it would smell like tangerines, just sayin'.

 

So on encouragement - how about if you and I determine to be the aroma 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!' It really does not cost us much except some awareness and a choice to stop thinking so much about ourselves and determine to give courage to others. Yes, that's good and right.

 

"My Prayer for You" ~ listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hj_0pvIGkks

Let's spread some sunshine today, what d'ya say?  


Christine  DiGiacomo        

Philippians, #3 



1 - Proverbs 18.21

2 - Proverbs 16.2 

3 - John 14.27

4 - The Five Love Languages Dr. Gary Chapman


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