The challenge to “encourage one another” is given throughout the New Testament. All of us need reassurance and appreciation. So why do we sometimes pocket the praise we should pass on to others, or sidestep the practical help we could offer to open the door for someone else to succeed? Sometimes it’s simply because we are lazy, or selfish, or we fall into the habit of taking people for granted. Sometimes it’s just easier to find fault. We underestimate the impact our words and attitude can have on another person, or we assume our approval is obvious. Are we afraid praise might cause pride in them? Jesus did not fear that when He praised Nathaniel: When Jesus saw him coming he said, “There’s a real Israelite, not a false bone in his body.” (John 1:47 Msg) What a compliment! The truth is more people die of broken hearts than swelled heads. So why not look for an opportunity to offer genuine praise to someone in your life and encourage them toward their goal.
Who are the people in our lives that we might offer this praise to? Of course it should begin with those closest to us such as family and friends. These are the people who we often take for granted on a daily basis. But, how about the people who serve us in the community all day long. The community servants, the police and firemen, the educators, and the people who serve us: in the grocery store, the coffee shop, the store, the hospitals, and the service industry. These are the people of our culture who are so often taken for granted or overlooked in the valuable service they provide.
Then, is it unthinkable that we would actually be willing to praise our co-workers, supervisors, managers and CEO’s? After all, we’re all getting paid to do our jobs, what more do you want for the time you give? A little appreciation, a little recognition, a little kindness to make you feel like you are actually valued and worth something to your company or organization, that would make a huge difference when it comes to improved morale in any group or job.
Well, I hope each of us can draw a little inspiration from this reminder to appreciate others around us. We can be the change that is needed to make this world a better place.