The World Needs More Encouragers, Or We Might Just All Go Crazy

January 17, 2014 | 62 comments

The world needs more encouragers.

We need people like Paul, who “gave constant encouragement, lifting their spirits and charging them with fresh hope.” (Acts 20:2)

The world needs more encouragers like Joseph, who so ferociously energized people that he earned the name Barnabas — which means “Son of Encouragement.”

We need more encouragers like my friend, Pastor Dave, who pours himself out by praying faithfully. Dave devotes his life to seeing (and pointing out!) the goodness in others.

We need more people who pray when they say they’ll pray,
who will bring the covered dish to the widow’s doorstep,
who will leave a comment on the lonely blog,
who will leave a note in the lonely mailbox,
who will celebrate someone’s success, rather than envy it,
who will tell people they like their style, their voice, their dry sense of humor.

This world needs more encouragers like Holley, and Lisa-Jo, and Sandra, and Ann, and Laura, and Lyla, and  Shelly, and Deidra, and Michelle.

The world needs more card-senders, and grace-spenders, and hand-extenders, and relationship-menders.

We need people who are living loved. We need people with hearts so sufficiently full of God’s grace that they can’t help but leak love onto the people around them.

This is a wild world, you know? It’s a shaky, unpredictable, whacked-out world sometimes. You don’t know what’s coming tomorrow. You don’t have a clue where the pink-slips will get dropped, or which worst-case scenario will dial your number. You don’t know who will reject you, fight you, criticize you, belittle you, ignore you, judge you.

So you’ve just got to know you matter a little bit right now. This moment. Encouragement might be the fuel you need to make it through the next mile.

Yeah. The world needs more encouragers.

And here’s the way: Go first.

Let’s be first!

Let’s be the first ones to live loved, pour grace, risk the hug, send the note, celebrate the success of someone else, Tweet a little bit of encouragement in the direction of the one whom no one notices.

Yeah, the world needs more people like Paul and Barnabas. But they don’t live here anymore.

And yes, the world needs more people like Dave. But Dave is heading into the operating room at 7:30 a.m. on Friday morning so a surgeon can remove the tumor from his brain.

The world needs more encouragers.

Let it begin here.

With you.

With me.

 

***

 

Writing in community with Lisa-Jo Baker and her Five-Minute Friday series, where she encourages (<—– there’s that word again!) us to write our little hearts out for five minutes flat without overthinking, editing, second-guessing and all that other stuff that kind of gets in the way sometimes. Her word today: ENCOURAGEMENT. Want to play along? Join Lisa-Jo each Friday at lisajobaker.com.

 

by | January 17, 2014 | 62 comments

62 Comments

  1. Alia_Joy

    You are so good at this, friend. I am always bolstered by your words but even more so, the quiet way you go about making much of God and bending low and lifting and pointing and cheering for others. You are a gift.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      That is really sweet. You made my day, Alia.

      Reply
  2. Sharita Knobloch

    Ah, Jennifer– you have SUCH a way with words. I love it. Great work on this post– I am so encouraged! (Mission accomplished, yes?) I thank God for all of the awesome encouragers like those mentioned in your post… and yourself included.

    Keep up the awesome and encouraging work! To the Glory of God 🙂

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Grateful for you, Sharita. You encourage me, too. xo

      Reply
  3. Karrilee Aggett

    Oh sweet friend – you know I love you… I love this… and this:
    “The world needs more card-senders, and grace-spenders, and hand-extenders, and relationship-menders.”

    Yes… my heart and my spirit cry, “YES!!!”

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Love you too, Karrilee. YOU a true encourager, my friend.

      Reply
  4. Loni

    The world needs more card-senders, and grace-spenders, and hand-extenders, and relationship-menders.

    I LOVE THAT! Yes, we do! So many lonely, crushed people. I try to remember this by even giving free “smiles” out in the store. Glad to join you in FMF!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Free smiles are worth gold.

      Reply
  5. bluecottonmemory

    When you love people – you cannot help but be encouraging – maybe not always perfectly and gracefully – another blogger used the word authentic – that’s when encouragement is the most authentic – and then the most powerful! Lovely, authentic encouragement, Jennifer!
    Maryleigh

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Hi Maryleigh! You lead well, my friend. You’re such an encouragement to many people — including me.

      Reply
  6. Barbie

    Sign me up! Your words are such a blessing!

    Reply
  7. Amy Hunt

    Yes. When you’re passionate about it and you know just how important it is, it’s a gift . . . it’s a glimpse into someone’s heart that shakes you to the core and gives you such an awareness of the love God has for them that you just HAVE to pour it out onto them. That, right there, is a gift: to See the need. And seeing is believing. It strengthens us. And so, it’s for the encourager just as much.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      I think that those of us who are encouragers, know how it can feel a little bit painful NOT to get encouragement. Does that make sense? We’re good at giving it out, because it’s what our own hearts want to know: That we matter. … I’ve had a couple of instances in my community recently where I was hurt by DIScouragers, rather than ENcouragers. I don’t need to get into the details, but I found that the best cure for my sad state after being DIScouraged, was to turn around and ENcourage someone who needed it.

      Reply
      • Amy Hunt

        I get this, Jennifer. Encouragers can sometimes be forgotten about as needing to be encouraged.

        Reply
  8. JViola79

    Love this – We are it! The current generation of encouragers. May we do our job!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Yep. It’s us, friend. Let’s get on it.

      Reply
  9. Linda@Creekside

    yes, Jennifer … let’s stop waiting around, dying to be noticed or acclaimed or fawned over! we’re surrounded by the broken, the ailing, the isolated. the fields are ‘white unto harvest’ … Let’s Go!!

    😉

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      That’ll preach. Thanks Linda.

      Reply
  10. MomtoJADE

    Yes and Amen! I am so encouraged to take the first step, send that card instead of waiting for someone to reach out to me. Thanks for the blog recommendations. I just subscribed on Feedly to these new-to-me bloggers that you mentioned, thank you!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      You won’t be disappointed. 🙂

      Reply
    • dukeslee

      Right back at you, friend.

      Reply
  11. Suzanne Terry

    I love that you named them. And I love the exhortation.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      I love calling out the encouragers. They do it so quietly. Very Jesus-like of them, yes?

      Reply
  12. Helen F

    Thanks for being my encourager today, Jennifer!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      The pleasure was all mine. Wow! I’ve replayed so many parts of our conversation. You are so wise. I am inspired by you.

      Reply
  13. pastordt

    Amen. And I have a picture a lot like that top one in my files. What a group!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Yeah. That was a pretty cool weekend.

      Reply
  14. Elizabeth

    A balm, a salve a triumphant word, a call, a cry, one beautiful write.♥

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      You encouraged me tonight … as you do regularly! xo

      Reply
  15. Amy

    I pray that I am one of those who encourages not just in the words but in action. Thank you for reminding us that the world needs us to reach out and lift up one another.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Good point, Amy. Thanks for sharing that.

      Reply
  16. Mia

    Dear Jennifer
    Oh, may each one of us be the first to encourage another with exactly the same need as yourself or forever hold your peace about yourself needing encouragement!
    Luv XX
    Mia

    Reply
  17. HolleyGerth

    Oh, friend, you have me in tears. My heart so needed this affirmation today. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Love you!!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      You live this one BIG, Holley Gerth. God gave you one of the most encouraging hearts EVER.

      Reply
  18. Diane Bailey

    This is beautiful Jennifer. You are an amazing encourager setting the example for so many! Love you!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      As are you, friend. So glad I got to see you in 2013 — you’re a real-live Barnabas.

      Reply
  19. Dana Butler

    Yup, this. We do need this desperately. “We need people with hearts so sufficiently full of God’s grace that they can’t help but leak love onto the people around them.” Love this, Jennifer.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Thank you so much, Dana. Really glad you dropped by today.

      Reply
    • dukeslee

      Ready … set … LOVE!

      Reply
  20. Sherrey Meyer

    Let’s get started! Inspiring message here,.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Let’s do this, Sherrey. For His glory. And for the good of mankind.

      Reply
  21. Jolene Underwood

    Really great five minute post! Wow! Thank you for the prompt to write encouragingly today. I’ve been focused on a post all day and set aside the five minutes to do this. AHHH! Challenging but fun!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Thanks, Jolene. I love FMF. When I was teaching journalism classes at the college, I often used FMF prompts as a way for my students to work past their writers’ block. It’s a terrific exercise.

      Reply
  22. Gretchen

    I love encouraging people, Jennifer! I live higher and recognize blessings more vividly and love more intentionally when I am with encouraging people.
    Yesterday one of my former 5th grade students sent me a Wonderfully Encouraging note! She is in college preparing to be a teacher herself. She wanted me to know that whenever she hears a siren of any kind she takes a moment to pray for the situation, just as I taught my class way back in 2001, the year of 9/11. She says she hopes she will be in a position to pass along such positive things to her own students one day.
    encouragement! She made my day! I was a better person all day long because of that bit of encouragement.
    So, thank you, Jennifer! Thank you for keeping this on my mind.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Oh Gretchen! What a cool story. You led by example back then in a way that was so powerful, that it “stuck” more than a decade later. Now THAT’s encouragement.

      Reply
  23. HisFireFly

    you encourage, you exhort, and you shine, dear one, with a light only He can kindle!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Speaking of light … when do you take your light to Africa? That’s coming up soon, yes?

      Reply
      • HisFireFly

        the plan is to leave in August if we have all of our support lined up by the beginning of June. If you know of peole who may be interested in what we’re doing, please pass along the info, we’d love to chat with them 🙂

        Reply
  24. Nancy Ruegg

    Thank you, Jennifer, for reminding us that encouragement isn’t just something nice to do. It’s important. Life-changing, even! I think your rousing post will launch a tidal wave of encouragement!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      You are so welcome, Nancy. I always appreciate you.

      Reply
  25. Lynn Mosher

    Oh, yes, we need more encouragers! And you, dear one, are a great encourager. Your words always make me sigh, sigh with comfort. I have always tried to be an encourager but one goal for the year is to encourage more. Thank you for encouraging me (us) to be more encouraging! Bless you!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      A joy to be in community with you, Lynn. Thank you for being here. YOU encourage me.

      Reply
  26. Lisa-Jo Baker

    Well, that’ll preach. Yes and amen

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      You’re leading the way, girlfriend.

      Reply
  27. Elle Michele

    beautiful post! thank you for encouraging all of us!

    Reply
  28. Paula Gamble

    This is beautiful, Jennifer! May God fill us all up with so much Love that it overflows to others everywhere we go! And as Dave would say as we are filled with His Love, ‘pay it forward’. We all need to know we matter, we have value – not because of what we have done, but because of what Jesus has done for us! And let’s spread the word, because that truly is Good News! Thanks for encouraging me, friend.

    Reply
  29. Nancy

    “We need people who are living loved. We need people with hearts so sufficiently full of God’s grace that they can’t help but leak love onto the people around them.” LOVE that! Thanks for the encouragement, Jennifer.

    Reply
  30. Sandra Heska King

    See how you encourage? What fun to see my name slipped in here with this list of lovelies. And how I love these encouraging faces.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest