Have you ever had someone celebrate or honor you in front of other people? There is not many things in the world that feel better than being acknowledged and esteemed in front of other people.
Last night was our last night of worship at Court Drive Church. It was a hard night for Taylor and I as we knew we would be saying many of our goodbyes, or see-you-laters Wednesday night. We had not planned anything major for ourselves as we prepared to leave, but the church had other ideas. The night began as usual. We had dinner as a church family, then went to our separate areas for a night of worship. When youth’s message finished and the youth broke for small groups, I went to my office to read until they finished and classes got out so I could go mingle in the lobby.
However, shortly after going into my office, I was brought out by a few students and taken to the sanctuary. One of my students created a video for the church to celebrate Taylor, the kids, and myself and our work at Court Drive. As if leaving was not already a hard enough thing, last night was the hardest I have cried since I first talked with our leaders about us leaving.
But enough about me and our occasion last night, this is about celebrating and honoring other people. Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:16 that we are to build each other up in love. Last night, Taylor and I received this and are so appreciative. It reinvigorates us in a hard time of transition to spur us on to good deeds as the author of Hebrews says is the purpose of meeting.
To put it simply, we are to be encouraging each other. We are to build each other up, not tear each other down. We are to lift each other up, not erect walls that separate us. It is not wonder that encouragement is one of the spiritual gifts which Paul mentions in Romans 12:7-8.
Lift each other up. Encourage one another. Love each other. You never know how much it might mean to that person.
Mark Twain once said, “I can live two months on one good compliment.” People need your praise and affirmation. Be liberal with your gift of encouragement and always be on the lookout for opportunities to lift someone’s spirits.
A woman in the church I grew up in was gifted with encouragement and exhortation. I cannot even guess how much money she must have spent on note cards, she was always writing affirming notes to send to people. Her willingness to praise someone for a job well done or encourage a person who needs a moment of inspiration has given to be a profound ministry in the church. She’ll probably never give a sermon, write a book, or be famous, but I guarantee you that in God’s eyes her notes of encouragement are more powerful than almost any sermon you’ve ever heard.
Is there someone in your life who needs a little affirmation and praise? What better gift to give them than the gift of encouragement! What effect does encouragement have in a person’s life? Today, give encouragement to someone who needs it. Try writing them a note, giving them a phone call, or baking them a fresh batch of cookies.