Hebrews 10:24 says, “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works,” (NLT) Yes, encourage people to do better. That is, do you what it takes to encourage others to do better? Not to change them but encourage them. Not to criticize them but to encourage them. Not to antagonize them but to encourage them.

Before you answer the question let’s make sure we understand a couple of things first. You can not give what you do not have. It is impossible to impart what you do not possess. Let me be clear, if you are not encouraged, how can you encourage anyone?

To encourage is to inspire people with courage no matter what they face. To give confidence no matter what happens to them. If you are not inspired you can not inspire anyone. If lack confidence you certainly can not give confidence to anyone.

Let’s do some real talk right now. Life is not fair. You do not always get what you need or want. People don’t always treat you right. There is never enough money to go around. You don’t always get the promotion you want. The house you want many times is too expensive or in this economy you may have lost the one you had due to predatory lending. Sometimes you get fired. Other times you can’t get hired, I don’t care what you do. Some have even said ‘if I didn’t have bad luck I wouldn’t have any luck at all.’ Whatever life has dealt you, you yourself must have courage to face it if you are going to encourage anyone else.

Courage is not the absence of fear but it is action in the face of fear. Life with all of its problems and trails can immobilize or even paralyze you. But when you have courage you can move forward and you the ability to encourage others.

In I Samuel 30 David was in great distressed. While out fighting a battle elsewhere David’s enemies the Amalekites raided his camp and carried off the women and children to captivity. When David and his warriors returned they were devastated and wept until they could weep no more. David was in great danger because his men were ready to turn against him and blame him for this tragedy. They were bitter and it was all David’s fault. They wanted to stone him. But David did not complain, argue, or even run. He encouraged himself in the Lord and then encouraged his warriors to go and take back what had been stole form them.

I am not sure what kind of devastation you face nonetheless, whatever your struggle, trail, or trouble; should you not have anyone to encourage you, should no one ever pick up the phone to text or call to encouragement  you, you must encourage yourself in the Lord.

Contribution Writer, Bishop Sherwood Carthen of BOSS-Bayside of South Sacramento

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