The path to encouragement can be easy when things are falling in order. Smiles fill my day when the sun shines, the flowers bloom, and everyone does what I need and expect. The struggle to walk out encouragement arrives about the time someone spills milk all over my new attitude.
The times of struggle are the times that I need you – I need someone else that will provide a word of hope or encouragement. I need someone else that will help me up. I need someone else that will pick me up and sometimes that will just carry me for a moment.
I had a chance to sit and visit with Vanessa Davis Griggs and her words encouraged me, provided me with a wealth of ideas, and made me laugh. Laughter ignites my encouragement like nothing else.
“Laughter in the storm is a reminder that I don’t have a world mind but a Christ mind.” Vanessa shared with me that it is okay if the world thinks I have lost my mind. We HAVE lost our mind. We now walk in the mind of Christ.
Christ minds see things with a different perspective. This perspective involves mountain moving, life creating, and water walking boldness. It comes from the joy of God – the Words of God that create hope and encouragement over all – the joy that builds up an encouraged heart.
1. Practice encouragement – the more I do something the more I will continue to do something.
2. Read encouragement – seeing the positives that come from encouragement will help give root to my own encouragement.
3. Hear encouragement – filling the ears with words and sounds that encourage the heart will make way for the heart to pour out encouragement.
4. Write encouragement – sending out words of encouragement in print and online will keep the mind and energy focused on encouragement.
5. Remember encouragement – keeping a journal of encouragement helps to stir up the spirit of encouragement but can also provide a booster shot of courage when it’s needed the most.
These ideas provide a strong foundation for growing up encouragement, but they are just the foundation. I have to make the choice to recognize who made you and who made me because what I say to you and to me says a LOT about what I think about the Creator.
My job description covers the words that I put out there. Responsibility for all the words that I release falls squarely on my shoulders. I should never say something I do not want.
Finally, to live out a live choosing encouraged the Word of God must be planted firmly in my heart and my mind. Read the Scripture because the Word is full of riches that will cover and support a life lived in courage.
God sees so much more than I could ever hope to see. He sees then and now and what is to come. The vision that He has allows Him to provide me with what I need when I need it – and it also allows Him to use me to provide for others . . . if I will listen and follow through with those directives.
A life of choosing encouraged requires investment but God will never allow an investment in Him to return void.