The Gift of Encouragement

And let us consider one another to provoke (stir up) unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting (encouraging) one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Hebrews 10:24-25

I was attending a leadership conference in Santa Clara, California when a preacher spoke about failure. He talked about not minding when others fail, but not particularly liking it when he failed. I  sure everyone can relate to failing in something in life, and I have failed many times over, which would take a large book to record. I cannot say I take any joy in failing, but I know it is a part of life. Much can be learned from failures if you will accept the brutal feedback it can provide. The preacher said something that night that stuck with me ever since: “Failure is an event, not a person.” 

I was running recently when, early in my run, I saw a man walking on the trail and we exchanged a friendly head nod. Later, near the end of my run, I looped the man and saw him again. As I came around to him a second time, he smiled big and said, “Way to go, keep it up!” Just prior to seeing him, I was planning to stop and rest for a few seconds before resuming my run. It was AZ-summer-hot outside, and I was running out of gas. His words kept me running, and I pushed on stronger than before. Words of encouragement go a long way and you never know their power until you are in desperate need of them.

In failure, it is helpful to have someone who comes along to encourage you. There are some in this life who have the gift of encouragement, and others who will kick you when you are down. Some do not mean to discourage others, but they simply do not understand the word, “empathy”, no matter how many times they look it up in the dictionary. My mom was always one who supported me, prayed for me and encouraged me. She saw the tears that ran down my cheeks when I lost a friend in death, and a girlfriend in a break up. She saw and walked with me throughout my failures in life. When others in my corner threw in the towel, she was quick to run out and pick up the towel and push me out in the middle of the ring to start another round. She has seen my not-so-stellar moments in life and even uttered to me the painful and necessary words, “I am disappointed in you.” 

Every kid needs the balance of a mom, as a dad will challenge you and a mom will be there to encourage you. My mom thought I could pitch for Arizona State University’s baseball team, and my dad simply laughed at the very notion. My dad was one to bring me back to reality, while my mom’s encouragement allowed me confidence I did not earn and many times should not have had. I knew that no matter the circumstances in life or the failures I endured, my mom would be in my corner, cheering me on. I cannot tell you what that does for a kid, and I will be forever grateful to my mom for the encouragement she gave a son who struggled in many ways.

Who can you encourage today? Who in your life needs prayer? Who in your life needs that phone call, text, or an invite to lunch or coffee? We rarely know the struggles of others, but we should always obey God when he urges us to reach out to someone with a word of encouragement. Encouragement may not be your gift, but it is something we can all work on as we know the power it can have in our lives. We will all fail at various times in our life, but may we use those times to learn what God is teaching us and be a blessing to others. Proverbs 25:11 states, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.”

Stay in the Fight!

2 Comments

  1. Marta Moreno on 06/25/2024 at 11:03 am

    A godly mother will point her children to God by the force of her example as much as by the power of her words!

    To God be the glory!

  2. Saso Mendez on 06/25/2024 at 7:45 pm

    Amen!

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