Summary: This sermon looks at three ways to give encouragement. 1. With your WORDS. 2. With your ACTIONS. 3. With your ATTITUDE.
How To Give Courage to Others – Encouragement
I heard another preacher speaking about encouragement a few months ago – and it really impressed me. The way that he defined encouragement was: “to add courage to”. He said, “A person who gives words of encouragement is helping another person become bolder and braver. By giving encouragement he is adding courage to that person. He is helping a person stand firmer and go farther. On the other hand to discourage a person – is to take away a person’s courage.”
Folks I don’t know about you but I want to be an encourager for Christ. When a person is working for God I want to encourage them to continue on. I want to help Christians keep going – keep on – and do their best. I want Christians to become bolder and braver. I want Christians to stand taller. I want Christians to give their best effort. I want to help them to be successful. I want to give them an added boost. I want to be a godly encourager – how about you?
Let me tell you I’m not much of a runner anymore – but when I was it was always encouraging when I was near the end of a race and I would hear the crowds cheering. It doesn’t matter if you are coming in first place or last place – if people were there cheering you on – it always gives you an added boost. All of us can use encouragement from time to time. All of us can use a pat on the back.
Our text for today comes from the book of Hebrews chapter three and verse thirteen. Follow along with me as I read:
“Encourage each other daily, while it is still called today, so that none of you is hardened by sin’s deception.” Hebrews 3:13 (HCSB)
Today I want us to look at three ways we can encourage one another the first is:
1. You can encourage one another with your WORDS.
This is probably the most common way that we encourage one another – we tell people how much we appreciate them.
Look at what Proverbs chapter twenty five and verse eleven says:
“A word spoken at the right time is like golden apples on a silver tray.” Proverbs 25:11 (HCSB)
The Message Bible says it this way:
“The right word at the right time is like a custom-made piece of jewelry.” Proverbs 25:11 (MSG)
There is a story about a pastor who was going into retirement and getting ready to leave the church. At his farewell dinner, he tried to encourage one of the members who had been a member for a long time. She was a member of the church before he had arrived there. He said to her, “Don’t be so sad. The next pastor you get might be better than me.” She replied, “That’s what they said last time, but it just keeps getting worse.”
Folks that’s not a word of encouragement is it? But that sure happens sometimes doesn’t it? We open our mouths and insert our foot. We want to say the right thing – but as we start to speak it comes out all wrong. Even when we don’t really mean to say the wrong thing – even when all our intensions are honorable – words sometimes get all twisted around. James gives this word of wisdom:
“For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.” James 3:2 (NKJV)
Think about it:
- The effect the words of a parent have on a child.
- The effect the husband’s words have on a wife and vice versa.
- The impact the boss’s words have on an employee.
- Words said in love.
- Words said in anger.
- Words said in encouragement.
- Words said as gossip.
- The last words on a death bed.
- Words have helped shape your lives – just as we have shaped the lives of others.
“The right word at the right time is like a custom-made piece of jewelry.”
I have a book in my office titled, "Just Folks". It contains a collection of poems by Edgar A. Guest. It was published in 1917. (Note: Edgar A. Guest poems are now in public domain.) I would like to read portions of Mr. Guest’s poem titled "Just Folks":
We’re queer (strange) folks here.
We’ll talk about the weather,
The good times we have together,
But here you’ll never hear of sinnin’
Or any scandal that’s beginnin’.
We’ve got too many other labors
To scatter tales that harm our neighbors.
We’ve one rule here,
An’ that is to be pleasant.