While thinking about my blog for this week I asked my three kids for their thoughts on encouragement and found it quite insightful to see that encouragement could take many forms, so this week’s blog is based on the wisdom of a 14, 12 and 9 year old…
- ‘Encouragement means you help someone believe in himself/herself, you say ‘you can do it’!’
The word quite literally means ‘to give courage’, by speaking positively to someone we give them courage perhaps to try something new or not give up when things are tough or even to be reassured that they did something well. Jaime Thurston from 52 lives says in her book; ‘Your words can nourish people’s ideas and help them become something amazing.’ [Kindness the little thing that matters most]
It is like watering the seeds to help them flourish and grow.
- ‘Giving encouragement shows trust!’
This response came from my nine year old and surprised me, but the more I think of it the more profound it seems. By encouraging someone, we show we trust him or her for a particular task. I think it also works in reverse; we learn to trust those who encourage us. We can quickly see through false encouragement but when encouragement is genuine, it builds trust.
- ‘When my friends asked me for help it encouraged me.’
By asking someone for help, we are recognising they can do something that might be difficult for us, which can be encouraging for them, helping to build confidence, trust and relationship. Encouragement recognises the need for relationship and interdependence to grow healthy, happy thriving, creative communities were individuals are nurtured.
The book of Hebrews 10: 24-25[NIV Bible] shows how encouragement is a part of building community; ‘And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another…’. So, love and good deeds can flourish when we encourage each other!
At Peaced Together we recognise we all need to take steps of courage towards the things we hope for but we also know that this is so much easier when we don’t have to do this alone. Who can you ‘give courage’ to today? By positive words, showing trust or even asking for help? As Jaime Thurston also said: ‘be kind – choose to be an encourager rather than a critic and you will unleash more creativity, resourcefulness and happiness than you could imagine.’