Observe. Listen. Engage.

The Lord showed me something very important today.

If I want to encourage others - I have to be an OBSERVER.

The friend who wipes away tears during worship.
The woman standing away from the crowd, who is normally in the center.
An extra long hug.
A husband serving his sick wife quietly and faithfully.
A downcast face that is usually bright and eager.
The church member who arrives early and stays late - so everyone else can worship effortlessly.
The teenager who refuses to look at her mother.
The worship leader who practices and prepares each week to draw us into a time of reverence and awe as we focus on our God.
The pastor who spends hours pouring over God's Word and bruising his knees in prayer to stir us up to love and good deeds.

If I want to encourage others - I have to be a LISTENER.

The only way to have a reason to listen - is to ask a question ... "How are you?"

Court dates.
Job interviews.
Defiant children.
Difficult family relations.
A strained marriage.
Stress at work.
Financial burdens.

If I want to encourage others - I must be a CHEERLEADER.

Wedding plans.
Recovery and healing.
Ministry successes.
Restoration of broken relationships.
Spiritual growth.

Simply stated,

To be an encourager ... I must be ENGAGED.

There are so many things going on in the hearts and minds and lives of the people around me. Close, intimate friends, and those I only know by name.  And each one needs encouragement. Whether they need a warm hug and listening ear to get them through a difficult trial, or a note of congratulations and praise ... "how good is a timely word."

Observe.  Listen.  Engage.

Thank You, Lord, for opening my eyes to this truth today.  It was timely and purposeful, and a lesson I will not soon forget!

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