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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Courage to Encourage

Years ago, a friend said to me, "Ya know, so many times, I think something nice about someone when I'm talking to them -- like how nice they look that day -- but never actually verbalize it to them.  Why do I do that?  Why do I hold back my encouragement?"

Then, she looked at me and said, "From now on, I'm just gonna say it."

For some of us, giving encouragement takes great, well... courage.  We think it, but never say it.  Never text it.  Never type it.  Never release it. 

Maybe we think, "Surely, they already know what I'm about to say, anyway.  They know how smart they are.  They know how sweet they are.  They know..."

But, maybe they don't.

In fact, maybe they actually believe the exact opposite.  Maybe they are someone who is good at art or cooking.  Everyone else thinks and knows they are brilliant, but they over critique themselves so much that they believe they aren't much of an artist or a cook at all.  It's hard for many of us to see, sometimes, what our strengths really are.

And, that's where encouragement comes in.

In college, I remember someone sharing how his mom really didn't know her strengths or how she contributed to the world and society.  He was stunned.  "Mom, it's obvious.  You have a huge servant's heart.  You give and give..."  He went on and listed everything he saw in her through his life.  What was so obvious to him was just simply not to her.

So, let us be courageous.  Let us release our encouragement. 

We just never know how much it needs to be heard.

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