What We All Need

Yesterday morning I started my day with just what I needed.

First, I spent time with God, praying for the day and all the things I had to get done. Then I prayed for discernment and understanding to deal with some very difficult issues. You can read about some of those issues here.

Then, almost on cue I received a very encouraging note from one of the men of our church. I have no idea whether or not he understood how encouraging he was or how much I needed it. All I know is I have kept his email and plan to read it a few more times.

That is what encouragement does and what we all need.

One of the prominent people of the New Testament was named Joseph but everyone called him Barnabas, which means encouragement. Barnabas obviously knew what everyone needs. He had the amazing ability to prop people up in the hard times and help them to go on when life became very hard. He encouraged Saul of Tarsus and introduced him to wary churches.

Everyone needs encouragement. Years ago I read a famous book entitled The One Minute Manager. It was a book about managing people but my main interest with the book had to do with its parenting and encouragement principles.

The One Minute Manager said to “catch people doing something right” and encourage them in what they were doing. I tried to do that with my own children. Like you and me, children need to be trained but the best training comes by encouragement rather than discouragement.

It seems to me that the default setting of most parents is discouragement. What we all need is encouragement. Let me be quick to point out that children need discipline and discipling. God has called us to disciple them through their younger years. This is best done by encouragement.

I also read an article by Thom Rainer yesterday morning about encouragement. He said that we needed to be around encouraging people so that we can learn to be encouragers as well.

Encouragement–it’s what everyone needs.

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