Being an Encourager

by Rev. Richard Fisher


There are so many events that are discouraging. Some people do not like to listen to the news because we hear of earth quakes, tornadoes, floods, wars and the list goes on.  Then we have things in our lives that are discouraging such as inflation, death of loved one, etc. There are many people who are discouragers in life but few encouragers.

            A young girl was taking a typing class in High School some years ago. She had small hands but she wanted to learn. Her typing teacher told her she would not be able to type because her hands were too small and her fingers were too short. While this was discouraging, she persevered and mastered typing.  She went on to become an administrative assistant and play the piano.

           The world needs a word of encouragement!  Ephesians 4:29 "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."  I strive to apply this passage but miss the mark sometimes.  Speaking words that build up people should be our goal. It
’s easy to tear down but to build up takes special care and work.  You can see the words ministering to people. What a blessing to you and the other person.  One person has said, "The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment."    


            The greatest encouragement we can give a person is to share the good news of Christ.  


Acts 13: 16, 22, 23, 38 & 39: “Standing up, Paul motioned with his hand and said: ‘Men of Israel and you Gentiles who worship God, listen to me!’ After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: ’I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.From this man’s descendants God has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus, as he promised. Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the Law of Moses."


One man said, "My wife was fascinated by the elegant calligraphy on the hand-written menu in a Chinese restaurant. She took it home and spent months knitting a sweater with Chinese characters down the front. She was wearing it at a cocktail party when a Chinese physician asked where she got the symbols. “From a menu,” she admitted. "Do you know what they say?” “I’m afraid to ask,” my wife said, “but tell me anyway”. “Cheap, but good.”

            Suppose I found something very cheap but also very good and failed to share it with you? How would you feel? We tell people about good deals.  Why not tell them about the good news of salvation! The greatest encouragement a person can receive is Jesus Christ being their personal Savior.

            Everything revolves around knowing God. Nothing in life makes real sense unless it is connected to knowing God who created us. And true encouragement points people to knowing God.

            One time an old preacher of the gospel and a distinguished actor were together at a social gathering. When the actor was asked to give a reading, he repeated, at the preacher
’s request, the 23rd Psalm. He quoted it in such a way that it brought applause from everyone in the room. Then he invited the old preacher to repeat that same Psalm and when he finished there was a hushed silence and some even had tears in their eyes. The actor then said, "I know that Psalm but that man knows the Shepherd."