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This is another “summer re-run”, as I re-post some articles from my first year of blogging.

The Gift of Encouragement

One of the highest of human duties is the duty of encouragement. It is easy to laugh at men’s ideals; it is easy to pour cold water on their enthusiasm; it is easy to discourage others.  The world is full of discouragers.  We have a Christian duty to encourage one another.  Many a time a word of praise or thanks or appreciation or cheer has kept a man on his feet.  Blessed is the man who speaks such a word.  – William Barclay

Here is an article called “19 ways to Encourage Others”  and another called “The Power of Encouragement”.  Maybe you have wanted to encourage others but just weren’t sure how to do it?  Both of these articles give examples and offer practical ways that you can encourage others!

I recently read about someone who schedules an “others hour” into their week – a time each week that they specifically set aside to focus on others. During that time they do encouraging things such as make calls or write notes or do favors for other people. In a way, “scheduling” this may be a contradiction. Scheduling something can make it artificial or obligatory, instead of from the heart. Yet, if we are never managing to encourage others, scheduling an “others hour” may be a great beginning! After a few months, the art of encouraging will hopefully become a natural part of your life – and you won’t need to “schedule” it anymore!

Have you encouraged someone TODAY? Someone you know may really need a positive word to get them through. A brief word of encouragement after a failure, can be worth more than hours of praise after a success.

What positive trait in another have you always appreciated? Let them know! Have you ever thanked that special teacher or co-worker or friend who was supportive of you in the past? Maybe they helped steer your life in a positive new direction. Thanks isn’t only for a tangible gift received, and it is never too late to remember a past kindness.

I’d say that the best “gifts” I have ever received in life were intangible! Give the gift of encouragement today.

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