Encouragement seems to be a lost art in an ever increasing negative world. You and I are surrounded by negativity all the time. Most news is negative. Most newspaper stories are negative. Negative news sells. And while it might make a profit it is making us miserable.
However the church is supposed to be different. Those following Jesus should be the cheerleaders for others who are following Jesus. Yet the church tends to be filled with negative Ned and Nancy. People who just want to murmur and complain instead of build up. So let's recapture this lost art in the church.
First, let me say encouragement needs to begin at home. Our marriages and families have become the hangout for negative words and it has to stop. We must turn this around. Married people would you go back to your dating days for a moment. How negative were you with each other then? My guess is not much or you would have broken up. So why do we allow this in our relationship now? It needs to stop. Ladies your husband needs a cheerleader and that is you. Too many men get lured away by women who will flatter them and cheer them on. Your words ladies are powerful and they can lift your husband up when he is down. But if you don't then it might open the door for trouble in your marriage. Men you have cheer on your wife. She needs to know she is beautiful and you cherish her. Do this with your words. Encourage her in all she does. Let me also say we need to practice encouragement with our children. I have heard parents say awful things around their kids. You will take them out of school for a bomb threat and then drop one right on them with your words. Stop it!!! You are not helping them but hurting them. When is the last time you encouraged your children?
Second, men should encourage men and women should encourage women. Are there exceptions? Yes. But in the household of faith let's start with this. Men find another guy you can encourage. Pray for them throughout the week. Ask them how they are doing. Don't just talk football, but talk life and encourage them to be the men they need to be. Ladies find another lady to encourage. Since you ladies are more touchy feely then give them a hug and cry together. Pray for each other. Check up on each other when you think of it. Remember do for one what you wish you could do for all.
Finally, when you favorite a tweet or like a Facebook status that is just a start it is not encouragement to the full like people need it. Take some time. Be a cheerleader for someone else. Let's other cheer you on. Let's create an encouragement culture in our church not just a negative one.
Jesus Follower, Husband, Father, and Pastor and trying to keep those in the right order....