SHELBYVILLE, IL. —
Why is encouragement so important?
I want you to think of a time when you were upset. Do you have it? Now think of the reaction you would have if when you were upset someone walked up to you and said something mean, malicious, or hateful to you. Would that help the situation? The answer is a resounding NO. Now, think of the same situation, but instead of someone saying something malicious, they said something encouraging to you. How would that change your mood? It would help the situation, not knock you down but lift you up.
It is easy to think of the negative, it seems that most of humanity is hard wired to only look at what is wrong and what others need to do to fix the situation. I will admit, I am not the king of encouragement and sometimes when I try to encourage individuals in my congregation, it feels strange and even forced. But a forced encouraging word is much better than a negative one.
Statistics say that it takes six to seven encouraging words to counteract every criticism. Think about that, it is a huge difference. It is not enough to say one encouraging word then to turn around and give a criticism; you have to be much more encouraging than criticizing for it to equal out. It is not easy being a Christian, and we all need a word of encouragement everyday. God created us as creatures that thrive on encouraging words, as the statistic gives proof, so do what the bible tells us to do and encourage everyone (1 Thes 5:11, 14).
In Proverbs 11:25, Solomon (the wisest man who ever lived) said this; “Whoever brings blessings will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” In plain terms, if you want to be encouraged then you need to start being the encourager. Do not look at the negative all the time, search out the good in people and situations and focus on those things. If you want to point people to Christ, give them a reason to look to him, be an encourager!
Chase Smith is the pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church in Shelbyville. For more information from Chase or the church call 774-3636 or visit www.fellowshipinshelbyville.com.