verb (used with object), en·cour·aged, en·cour·ag·ing.
1. to inspire with courage, spirit, or confidence: His coach
encouraged him throughout the marathon race to keep onrunning.
2. to stimulate by assistance, approval, etc.: One of the chief
duties of a teacher is to encourage students.
3. to promote, advance, or foster: Poverty often encourages
Truly the most useful tool I’ve discovered [that the rest of you knew about already]; encouragement. Not just the, “Go get ‘em tiger!” encouragement we hear soccer moms and baseball dads yelling [and I do mean yelling] on Saturday mornings, but providing evidence to your encouragement.
There are several times in the recent year that I’ve attempted to motivate, to encourage those around me. I mean, why not? When you go from homeless and borderline hungry to…this? You have no excuse not to encourage. However, that is where I found the catch to be in the encouragement process.
People don’t just want happy words, they want evidence to support it. That’s when I decided that frankly, I’ve got a fun story to share. In many ways I’ve got the ‘rags to riches’ Disney movie in the making going on [that is mainly tongue and cheek, of course]. However, there is some fact behind telling people a story. Many in our culture still enjoy an oration from time to time, and I can also tell you this; when you vow to some honesty, and tell it as it is, and be honest with your experiences; not only do you shock the world, but you make a world of difference to them.
To this point, I think out of the entirety of the past year; the story with Darco stands to be the testament of what encouragement is like. This very day if you met her, and you had met her once before even last year; you would not have been able to place the two together. She doesn’t look the same, act the same, even talk the same. It is a 180 difference in the fullest extent. And watch this pattern:
I encourage Darco:
Darco encourage _____:
_____ encouraged _____:
The list goes on, slowly but surely there are more and more people rocking the pews at MoVal. How can you not be encouraged? How can you look at a Christian who is divorced, another Christian with a questionable background [best way to word it], and see that they’re just encouraged at the new life they’ve been given.
Isn’t that what it is all about in the end? Sharing with people the difference between then and now? Being able to share a message of encouragement, getting people to ask what changed, and then being able to just look at them and say:
I rebelled against my selfish desires, then I eliminated the stumbling blocks of my life. I started connecting to the people of this new life. I started to obey the guidelines of a life in which was humbled, by practicing areas such honesty and vowing to set the life straight, and then I started to take my message, my story, and encourage the masses.
Are you encouraged yet?