Encourage is a verb. It's something you do.
Hebrews 3:13 “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness,” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
Throughout the Bible we see instructions to encourage one another and verses that are meant to encourage us. Why is encouragement emphasized in the Bible? Primarily because encouragement is necessary to our walk of faith. When we En-courage we give each other the courage to walk forward in faith, to face with courage all that life throws at us - to build us up. The actual word used in Hebrews is paraclete - which means advocate or helper. It is most commonly seen referring to the Holy Spirit. We are literally called to encourage one another just as the Holy Spirit encourages us.
As clearly as I recall that bright happy face, I also recall the face of discouragement. When they stuck out at bat or lost the big game or heard hurtful words their faces would fall, sometimes tears would fall as they experienced what it was to be discouraged. Discourage is also a verb. Dis-courage, to take away someones courage, to take away their ability to walk forward in faith, to take away their ability to face what life brings, to tear down.
John 14:1 Let not your hearts be troubled....In the proceeding chapter of John, Jesus is eating the Passover meal with his disciples. He has told them he will be betrayed by one of their own, he has predicted Peter's denial and his own death. Jesus knows how this has hit them - and he says "Let not your hearts be "troubled" or "athumeo"
athumeo - disheartened, broken in spirit.
We quite literally hold the power to encourage - giving each other the same help as the Holy Spirit gives us, or to break the spirit of others through our words and actions. It's all about the spirit.
And this is the choice we make every moment of every day.
Each word we speak, each interaction, everything we do has the power to en-courage or dis-courage, we can build up or we can tear down. Every. single. moment.
Think about that for a minute.
Every word spoken to your spouse.....
Every word spoken to your children....
Every word spoken to your co-workers....
Every word spoken to the cashier at Walmart...
Literally every word is your verb - what you do - the legacy you are leaving built one word at a time.
Proverbs 16:24 “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”Proverbs 21:19 "It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman."Are my words healing grace or a spirit breaker? Lord, let them be healing grace.
Proverbs 14:1 A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.