If you think you’ve nothing of real value to offer others, consider the words of an unknown poet: ‘One song can spark a moment; one flower can wake a dream. One tree can start a forest; one bird can herald spring. One smile begins a friendship; one handclasp lifts a soul. One star can guide a ship at sea; one word can frame the goal. One vote can change a nation; one sunbeam lights a room. One candle wipes out darkness; one laugh can conquer gloom. One step can start a journey; one word can start a prayer. One hope can raise our spirits; one touch can show you care. One voice can speak with wisdom; one heart can know what’s true. One life can make a difference; you see…it’s up to you.’
Author Jon Walker says: ‘Encouragement is part of God’s nature. The New Testament word for encouragement is the same word Jesus used for the Holy Spirit who comes alongside us as an advocate…constant comforter…resident reminder…holy helper…indwelling guide…supplier of courage. Another way God encourages us is when other believers come alongside us as agents of encouragement.
Encouragers offer affirmation and confirmation to those who see God’s hand working in their lives (see 1 Thessalonians 2:3-4); exhortation and reassurance to those who walk through trials and tribulations (see 1 Thessalonians 5:14); and reconciliation and restoration to those who stray (see Galatians 6:1).
While there are many ways to bring out the best in others, in reality it only takes one: a willingness to “bear with the failings of the weak and not…please ourselves”. That’s how we strengthen them in the faith. It’s called “people-building”.’
‘We…ought to bear with the failings of the weak.’ Romans 15:1 NIV (2011 Edition)