By: D. A. Slinkard
We are plugging right along with the year and have now come to the 5th letter of the alphabet, the letter “E” — and our word is Encourage. If there was ever a time in our history in which we needed to be encouraged, it is the time we are living in right now. The opposite of encourage is discourage, and we have way too much of this going on. It is easy to become discouraged when you look at the prices of gasoline, or the prices of food, or the conflicts that are arising. This article will be focusing on the word “encourage” and how we can be an encouragement to others.
I was recently speaking with my pastor, and we were talking about attitudes and approaches to life. He shared with me an idea or concept I had never thought about concerning how people look at life. People look at life as either the cup being half-full or the cup being half-empty, and he told me these people are missing the point all together. What people need to understand is whether the cup is half-full or half-empty, the cup is ALWAYS refillable. Wow! I had never taken the time to look at this saying from this perspective.
It was a truthful statement, and one that has been an encouragement to me. No matter the circumstances in life, there will be ups, there will be downs, but the one constant we must remember is whether the cup is half-full or half-empty, we can choose to refill our cup. The events of life are only temporary, and the momentum or lack of momentum can swing in a heartbeat. If we celebrate the successes too long, we fail to see negative obstacles or pitfalls approaching. And if we wallow in our pity too long, we fail to see the success we can achieve by taking the necessary action. We need to be ready to refill our cup at any time and at a moment’s notice.
How does a person learn to encourage? How does a person learn to be the individual who is able to bring up others around them? The answer is simply one person at a time. If you want to learn how to be an encouragement to someone, take the time to show them you care. Easy statement to make but much harder to live out. We have become a society that likes to talk about ourselves and our wants, our desires, and we forget about the other person. We need to be mindful of the people we are interacting with. If we make it about them and less about us, we will find ourselves being the person who is able to encourage others.
A reality I have discovered is from an old saying, “People do not care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Wise words to keep in mind as you go about life. I remember when my daughters were younger, my wife and I would encourage them as we would be driving them into school to drop them off. We would remind them they were a child of the King (Jesus Christ) and being a child of God makes them a princess, therefore they needed to act like it. You might be asking how they were to be acting like it. Simple – there are bucket fillers in life and there are bucket dippers. A bucket dipper is someone who is constantly dipping into the buckets of others, and they are draining people around them. Bucket fillers are the people who are able to add to the buckets of others. They are the people who add value to others. They are the people a person would want in their life.
We have all the negativity in the world, and right now we need people to learn how to encourage others. We need people to learn how to be an encouragement to others so they can make a positive impact. We need to focus on having the best day possible and doing it on purpose. Too often a person has a good or bad day, and it is all because of chance or luck. We need to do things on purpose.
Commit yourself today to be a person who encourages. Make the effort to be a bucket filler, and then just watch the impact you will have on others. We need something to be encouraged about, will you be that person?
By: D. A. Slinkard
D.A. Slinkard would love your feedback. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org