by: Cecil Haywood (Dream Team: Worship )
When I reflect back over my life, there have been many opportunities to encourage someone who was facing a difficult circumstance. One such time was when I worked as a correctional officer. At times, it seems like the prison in which I worked had more negative people there than positive ones. It would have been easy to fall prey to the negativity but despite this, I tried to always remember Ephesians 4:29 (NIV): “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen”. It was my goal to speak positively with those who I came in contact. You never know whose watching you and how you are influencing them. When I was working, there was an inmate under my supervision, who came to me and told me that I had played a part in motivating him to learn to read and further his education. He said that my positive attitude helped him to want more out of his life.
It is important when we are around people who are experiencing hard times to be sensitive to their circumstance and offer encouragement and support through not only our words but our actions as well. I Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV) states that we are to encourage and build each other up. Let our life be an encouragement to others.
ACTION: When was the last time you encouraged your children, spouse, or friend when they were going through hard times? What can you do today to be an encourager to someone?
PRAYER: Father, remind us to offer encouragement to our family, friends and others. Help us to be sensitive to their needs and be supportive. In Jesus’ name, Amen.