Did you know that encouragement is a basic necessity of life? Without air, shelter, food, and water, our bodies die. But without encouragement, the human spirit withers and can also come near death. Just think of how many people are trying to navigate the extreme pressures and adversities of our present situation without positive, life-giving encouragement. You’re needed now, more than ever! And it’s your encouragement that gives others the reasons they need to be courageous.
The Skill of Implanting Courage
Think about this. The word “encouragement” literally means to put courage into someone. In other words, to give someone a reason to be courageous. Given the current social, political, and economic climate we’re living in, is there a soul wandering the face of the earth who doesn’t need encouragement?
In his book, “The Art of Encouragement,” Dr. Ray Lincoln describes the practical ways you can literally instill courage in another person. Put more accurately, he reveals the sources of your own courage and the ways you can impart that courage to others. Here are just a few of the sources of your own brand of encouragement:
- Your strong emotions: Despite the power of logic, the reasons most people muster their courage are emotional in nature. An emotional reason is persuasive. And the stronger the emotion, the more powerful the motivation. If you will tap into your own emotions to build courage in another, you might find yourself telling them things like, “I love you and want you to hold on. Breakthrough is coming!” Or, “I know you can do this. I believe in you!” If you’ll mentally walk through THEIR valley, in THEIR shoes, the emotional help you’re looking for will soon become obvious to you.
- Your physical senses: We get to someone’s heart through their mind. So, it makes sense that we use all the avenues that the mind is equipped to monitor as we try to inject courage into someone’s heart. The sight of your concern and the tone of your voice, for example, are effective ways to encourage. Even if you don’t pick the perfect words, the person in need of courage can discern your intentions if you’re caring and kind in your manner.
- Your determination: Even your own perseverance and determination is a source of encouragement for others. Encouragers often make the mistake of quitting before their task is complete. You can comfort someone and lift them out of their depressed condition. But you haven’t finished the job until you’ve built up their strength to withstand future attacks. Model the determination you’ve used and help them build up their own by seeing it in you. Display your confidence in them. And if you are able, help them learn to blend self-confidence with God-confidence. After all, He is our ultimate source for a healthy human spirit.
Of course, to be an effective encourager, you’ll need to find your own courage. Yes, it’s a risk to offer help to someone. They may say they don’t need or want your help. But that’s rare. Trust your own empathy and ability to sense when someone is hurting. Be bold in your kind offer to help. The worst thing to happen is that the person understands you’re someone that cares about them.
It’s truly impossible to measure the value of your particular brand of help, kindness, and courage. But the biggest mistake you can make is to undervalue it. Besides, courage is contagious. And the more you impart it to others, the more you build up courage for yourself to use too. So go on! Grab your copy of “The Art of Encouragement” and learn the practical ways you can give out reasons to be courageous.