Never underestimate the value of an encouraging word.
The simple act of encouragement is so often taken for granted. So many of us want to believe that we encourage our family, our friends, our co-workers and our general fellow man. Sadly, though, many of us fall short.
Think about your everyday conversations. Do you listen and smile casually, leaving yourself with the impression that you’ve participated in the conversation in an encouraging manner, when you haven’t really offered any encouragement at all?
Have you asked questions about the potential negative outcomes of a friend’s excited effort under the guise of “helping them think it through”, unknowingly (and, in all fairness, most likely unintentionally) crushing their excitement instead of offering encouragement? Or, have you in fact shared an encouraging word commending someone for a job well done or offering them a word that says “I know you’ll succeed in this venture”?
Many of us listen to and participate in conversations and, when we leave said conversation, truly believe we have been an encouragement to the other party / parties involved in the conversation. However, if we take a hard, honest and objective look at these same conversations, we will find that we haven’t really been of any encouragement at all. Sometimes, we have in fact been the opposite or completely neutral.
At various points in my life, I have been blessed to have some genuinely encouraging people in my circles. I would venture to say that they have been quite scattered, but present nonetheless, and the difference it has made in my life is absolutely priceless. Several years back, I went through a dark period that left me very unhappy and in possession of very little self-confidence. Having people in my life then that were constantly encouraging me was such a blessing. It’s not that they were necessarily going out of their way to come up with extra things to say in each shared conversation, but these people truly made a habit of being encouraging to the point that it was simply a part of who they are. Having this kind of people in my life has really broadened my appreciation for words of encouragement. I find myself being more encouraging to others as well, which is just a happy little side effect.
You never know how big an effect the smallest words can have on someone’s day, someone’s week or even someone’s life.
Take a moment to really think about your everyday conversations and see where you may have room to work some encouragement into your own daily life. I guarantee you the benefits will be reaped by not only those you encourage, but by you as well.
You can follow me at sunshineandbluemoon.blogspot.com and, as always, make it a great day!