2 minute read.
Encouraging others encourages you.
Playing doubles tennis with different partners and personalities has one thing in common; everyone needs encouragement. When the ball isn’t going where you want it to go, and the frustration begins to build, it’s easy to get down on yourself. That’s when encouragement is needed most. The tricky part is finding what works best to help people overcome their difficulties.
People need uplifting in different ways. Some people need you to tell them precisely what to do to fix the problem; others don’t want coaching. In a recent match, my partner was struggling. No matter what I did to encourage her, it wasn’t working. Finally, down 0-5 in the second set, I looked at her and said, “We only need to win 20 points to get back to even.” For whatever reason, she received this well; pointing out the facts helped her focus and got her head back in the game. Getting her back on track helped me do the same.
Find what works.
When you’re trying to encourage someone, find what’s best for them. When I’m discouraged, sometimes I need a hug, other times I need a kick in the butt. Different situations call for different tactics. When sitting with someone experiencing grief, I’ve found the best thing is to say nothing. But if someone is exasperated after many failures, they need a push to try one more time.
Helping others continue on the journey helps us keep going. When I know a friend is struggling, encouraging them always lifts my spirits as well.
“He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” (Proverbs 11:25 NIV)
Encourage those around you today. Find what works for the person. Help downtrodden people persevere in the journey of life. Watch as you’re encouraged as well.
Lord, thank you for encouraging us. Forgive us the opportunities we’ve missed to spur others on in their struggles. Don’t let us miss the chances you place before us today. Let our eyes and ears remain attentive to those who need uplifting. Give us the words and actions we need to help them. As we encourage others, let us find encouragement as well. IJNIP. Amen
Question for reflection
Who needs encouragement in your life today?