December 13, 2022
Be An Encourager!
I get to go to the middle school every Wednesday morning and pray with dozens of kids around the flagpole in the front of the school. It is a great moment to see all of the kids and adults praying together for their school.
One morning I got there a little bit early and it was chilly. So I went into the lunchroom where most of the kids were finishing up their breakfast before they went out to the flagpole. As I was standing there a young girl came in and went to one of the teachers who was standing near me. The young girl showed the teacher a cloth animal that she had made. The teacher told the girl how pretty it was.
The girl immediately started talking about how ugly it was and how the ears were not straight and how the feet were wrong. She attempted to go on and on about the flaws that the creation had. The teacher told the young girl that it looked beautiful and for her to stop being so critical and negative about what she had made. The teacher patiently encouraged the girl to be positive and see the good in what she had done.
The teacher told the girl that it was okay to critique her work but not okay to criticize and find fault with it. The girl asked what critique meant and the teacher patiently told her the meaning and encouraged her to do her best. I watched as the young girl walked off with a smile on her face and a ray of hope in her step.
This teacher was an encourager. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 18:21 that, “The tongue has the power of life and death,”. This young girl seems to be struggling with self-esteem issues and appears to have been put down by others in her life. This teacher’s words of encouragement brought new life and hope to this young lady where defeat and a negative outlook had been present.
When we have an overly critical spirit and a negative outlook, we project that onto others. Most of the time that projection is done through the word that we say and the way that we say them. We literally have the power with our tongues to brighten someone’s day and even life. Or we can totally destroy their day, life, and hope with the words that we say.
Unfortunately, the vicious cycle goes on and on as we pass it along from generation to generation. Let’s pray that the chain of misery, negativity, and low self-esteem can be broken by these people hearing positive, encouraging words that lift them up above the words that bring them down.
I try to be a builder upper rather than a tearer downer. I have a bumper sticker that says “HOPE DEALER”. That is what God has called us to do. We are to share His love, hope, and peace with everyone that we meet. So when given the chance, be an encourager. You never know whose life you may affect and even change for all eternity.
In love with Jesus – Gary Mimbs