Note: if you follow me on facebook you probably recognize a few of these sections… I’ve added some stuff and put those thoughts here…
Definition of the day:
- support that inspires confidence: support of a kind that inspires confidence and a will to continue or develop
- something that encourages: somebody who or something that gives somebody hope, confidence, or courage
ANTONYMS: dampen, deject, depress, deter, discourage, dispirit, dissuade, uninspire, disheartening, dismal, dreary, gloomy, pessimistic, hopeless (these verbs mean to make less hopeful)
not to be confused with…
- tend to stop something: to tend to prevent something from happening by making it more difficult or unpleasant
- try to deter somebody: to try to stop a person or animal from doing something
- make somebody less optimistic: to make somebody feel less motivated, confident, or optimistic
- How we have missed the spiritual bulls eye or
- the list of ways we are not honoring others the way they had expected to be honored.
- discouraging any behavior they find is inappropriate or maybe borderline “unbiblical”
- discouraging behaviors that basically don’t make them look good – if ya’ll are related.
You are not going to be able to keep up with the number of people who are disappointed with you, in you. And those words can be life damaging… purpose threatening. We all have to wade through a lot of poisonous words of filth sent by the Father of Lies through the mouths of those who “have known us and should have loved us” (Eldredge, “Waking the Dead”). These are where some of our deepest wounds come from: parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles, etc.
So when those same voices that have spoken so much harm then insist that they have only been encouraging encouragers… don’t be surprised. You’ll be angry. You’ll wonder for a minute if it is you. But you’ll know that you have not misrepresented or misinterpreted their previous words that have harmed you and wounded you. You know darn well why you feel the way that you do… people can be mean. However…
Human beings have this wonderful knack for trying to rewrite history.
That’s the time when we need to start asking ourselves and even them:
When have you ever offered HOPE? confidence? courage?
When have you inspired others…. smiled upon those around you…offered to one another supportive approval…
I’m not talking about finances or throwing money at something.
To genuinely encourage means to spur someone on…. to give someone confidence that they can do or be…courageous.
To help someone be bold…
What is in the word “encourage”… the word courage.
Can you honestly say that you inspire others to live with courage?
Are you living a life of courage? Are you known for your courage… at the very root of what it is to encourage?
Pet Peeves – Encouraging Encouragers
I think far too often we define our actions and ourselves as “encouraging encouragers” in the lives of others, but at no point have we actually been told by another person that we are an encouragement to their lives.
For some folks it’s like one day they woke up, heard a sermon, or read a book and DECIDED for themselves that they were encouraging. They picked the label that made them feel good without actually checking to find out if it fit with how they have always been with other people or what they are sincerely known “for” in the lives of those around them.
They focus in and obsess on that one moment that they can remember when something good came from something that they did or said. They allow that moment of glory to go to their head… and forget all those times when they have stuck their foot in the mouth, or spent more time criticizing or gossiping about someone instead of intentionally loving, encouraging and lifting up others in prayer.
Gossip whoring… isn’t encouraging either.
You can’t pick that one amazing moment when you felt good about something you offered- and live off that for the rest of your life.
ONE MOMENT does not define a lifetime.
For Example: It’s not like at age 40 I’m suddenly going to wake up one day and be a dairy farmer… and then proceed to proclaim it to everyone around me, “I am a dairy farmer.” They are going to think I am nuts because:
- I am not a diary farmer
- I have never been a dairy farmer
- Unless some miracle of God happens I am not going to be a dairy farmer.
So why is it that there are so many of us running around claiming to be ” encouraging encouragers” when we have no substantial “encouraging fruit” flowing from our lives to bear witness to our claims? We have a lot of plastic fruit lying around… we have a lot of wounded hearts and battered people who have born the brunt of our “encouraging spirits.”
But there is not a long list of folks standing around us to testify or bear witness to our lives of encouragement.
Usually those who have to choose their own labels and announce them to everyone…they have actually been far from encouraging. It doesn’t matter how often they use that label, proclaiming it to others, whispering it in everyone’s ears – just because they claim to be a great encourager does not mean that
- they are encouragers
- they have been in the past encouraging
- They will be in the future “encouraging encouragers” unless of course that miracle of God kicks in
So don’t worry if you think you are nuts for not seeing what they are telling everybody…
it really isn’t you. It’s them.