Can you remember a moment when someone said something or did something that encouraged you greatly?

What we edify we magnify. What we magnify we multiply.

What about the opposite? Have you ever been discouraged by someone? We all have. It is sad how we can easily remember the times we were put down versus when we were lifted up.

Personally, I will never forget my most painful and discouraging moments. I’ve prayed and asked God why I still have those memories. Please take them away! Now, I’ve found those stains on my heart are frequent reminders as to why I need to be the encourager for others.

Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A, once said: “If you know someone breathing then you know someone who needs encouragement.” My observations have led me to believe encouraged people encourage people, and discouraged people discourage people. So what about us? What do you do when you are the discouraged person? I’ve been there. I can be so discouraged the idea of being the encourager is far from any thought. These verses from Ephesians 4:22-24 say it best: “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” We are made new in Christ! This encourages me. I aim to renew my mind with this instruction: May the attitude of my mind be made new.

Let us think on the power and impact of our encouragement. What we edify we magnify. What we magnify we multiply. Daily, we carry two buckets around with us. One filled with water and the other filled with gas. We can pour gas on something negative and make it blow up, or we can pour water on something and let it diffuse the situation. More than ever it is seems as if our world is becoming more and more negative. With the tap of our fingers we can tweet and post a ranting rage on our social media status updates. How can we stay encouraged to be the encourager? 

Meditating on this Scripture helps me remember how to protect my mind from the negative discouragement creeping in. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.” Philippians 4:8

On my desk at home, I decided to draw a diagram on a yellow memo pad to help me live out and obey Philippians 4:8. I made four quadrants. On the top left I wrote the word: negative. On the top right: positive. Then, on the bottom left, I wrote the word: hurtful. On the bottom right I wrote: helpful. Daily, my hope and prayer is that my thoughts would be positive not negative, and my words would be helpful not hurtful.

May we continue to guard our hearts and know we do have opposition against staying encouraged and being the encourager. John 10:10 reads, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Thank you, Jesus, for giving us life and being the source of encouragement for us to share.

Make where you are better—because you are the encourager. ~Tim DeTellis

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