Posted by on December 1, 2015

Caring I JohnSometimes we forget to encourage one another. We’re too busy pointing out the bad stuff to realize just what a difference a few encouraging words might make.  

I recently wrote a blog for AboutWe.org about how sometimes people try to change and better themselves, and we don’t let them (Put down the Ax Give People Room to Change). We don’t let them forget their past mistakes. We don’t believe they could actually be different. We don’t trust them.

We can come up with good reasons to keep them in their place. You know, wise as serpents and calling it like we see it, but maybe we should stop all the fretting and try believing instead. Someone once told me that I would never be able to reach my potential without people around to encourage me along the way—without someone to believe in me. At the time, that was depressing because I didn’t think I had anyone who would do that for me. But now I know it’s not meant to be depressing, it’s meant to build us up together.

Encouragement for the LonelyGod is all about relationship. He wants to have a relationship with you. He wants us to disciple and care for one another. He doesn’t want us to be alone. There’s no being an island. We’re all in this together. (Cue High School Musical soundtrack). 

We help one another, spur each other on to be better, build up one another.

At least that’s how it should be.

And if it’s not?

If there’s no one around to tell you it’s going to be okay or that you can do it?

And if instead of believing in you, most people are bringing up all of your mistakes?

You’re singing praise songs, and everyone’s questioning your heart (Poor Justin Bieber – see the AboutWe post)?

Well, if that’s what’s happening, then I say, stand back for a second. Close your eyes, and remember. Remember that you are not alone. God knows what you need. He cheers for you. He will help you. I say this with great certainty because if you’ve read this much of the post, then he wanted you to know that. Not because I have some inside track with him, but because he has one with you. He has a way of bringing others along our path to bless us when we’re down. It may take time, but it will happen.

And for those who heap accusations on instead of hope, to them I say, stop. Stand back for a second. Close your eyes (that might hurt a bit with the speck you have in there), and realize that the words you let fly say more about you than the one on whom you aim. 

Encouragement will come for the broken and messed up.

Sometimes it comes in the form of a stranger’s smile or a song on the radio at just the right time. A verse. A sunset. A hug.

It just takes a little bit of faith to see it. 

Victim freed from pitGod cares about you and has a plan for you. He will not leave you to do it alone. I bet a lot of you have stories of how you were down and then you got a phone call or an email or something, and it helped.

That’s us working together.

I know it doesn’t all play out so sweetly. Sometimes we need that encouraging word, and it doesn’t come right when we’re sure we need it.

But God is faithful.

Though the road may be rough and the end far off, he knows, and he will help you. And who knows, maybe you’ll end up being that light for someone else.

Do you have any stories of encouragement coming from an unlikely place? Share them in the comments!

 

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Fred Larmore
Fred Larmore
4 years ago

Thanks, Mary Beth. Another winner.

Christine S.
4 years ago

While my high school students can be really painfully honest with me, sometimes they can also be a huge source of encouragement! One of the things one of them said recently is that she thinks I’d be a great mom. That kid didn’t know I’d recently had a miscarriage, but gosh, those words meant SO very much to me. Thanks for this post- what a reminder of how powerful our words can be and how we should use them for good and for uplifting people.

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