I love those two words. I love to see people put them in motion. Love to put them in motion myself. Love to hear that something I did or said encouraged or inspired someone in a positive way or direction. It just makes me feel good to know I made a positive difference somewhere.
On the other side of the coin I know there have been days and periods of my life where I was anything but encouraging and inspiring. At least not towards anything positive or helpful. I still have days where I am certain I do neither. I’m human but at least I am more aware.
“Encouragement”, is something you do. It is an intentional action. Something you say, do or perhaps write to someone else that tells them to keep going. To keep doing what they are doing or to hang in there and persist until they get the outcome they desire.
As a former professional baseball player I fully understand the need for encouragement from others. I failed literally every game in some capacity. Life after baseball has been no different.
Parents need encouragement. Kids need encouragement. So do Realtors, teachers, firefighters, the cashier at the grocery store, the person taking your order or cleaning your table at lunch. The pro athlete trying figure out “what now” when it is all over. We all do.
Absolutely no one is spared from needing encouragement. So, give it freely and often. I’ll say that again…..give it freely and often.
“Inspiration”, is something entirely different. Inspiration is how you live your life or go about your business. It is how you respond to the things that happen to you on a day to day basis. It is your life in action and it almost always speaks far louder than words.
Thing is, if you want to encourage someone you also need to inspire them. Encouragement without Inspiration often has little weight, while encouragement with inspiration can weigh a ton.
If you want someone else to stay positive then you have to stay positive. If you want to encourage someone to believe that they can do something or become something then you have to be, have been or emulate the example you speak of for that to have any weight.
On that note, if you want to encourage someone to believe that a personal relationship with Christ can change their life then your life needs to resemble the changed life you speak of. It hasn’t got to be perfect, just better than it was. Your life needs to inspire that person, towards Christ, if they are to give the encouragement you offer a chance. If you add Christ to your life it will change, it can’t not change. Its just that simple.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 states, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up…..”. Do this freely and often, it costs you nothing. It can change lives. It changed mine.
Get in the boat. Do your part.
Shane / #16