If the question was asked, “who encourages you?” there is most likely one or two people at the top of the list who have a knack for lifting your spirits when you need it most. No doubt we all could use a good dose of encouragement from time to time; our advocates of encouragement are no different. I believe our encouragers sometimes get overlooked when we think of people who may need inspiration. We so often see them as being the ones we can go to and get a pep talk that helps us to be revived and spiritually energized that we forget they too need to be fed a nourishing word or rejuvenation of sorts.
One example that may help you relate is your church’s pastor and associates that lead the church. Have you ever considered the pastor needing a word of encouragement? Most likely not. Many assume the pastor gets spiritual fulfillment from passing along God’s word and does not require more. To some extent that may be true. Be reminded, church leaders are human too and like us, could use some uplifting.
The bible has many verses we can read to either be encouraged or offer an encouraging word to others. For instance, 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (ESV) states: “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” This was written at a time some of the godliest encouragers of the day needed encouragement themselves.
The author of Psalms, King David, sought encouragement from the lord almost constantly. If a mighty warrior like David was not afraid to seek this essential spiritual nourishment, who are we to not seek it too? And if we seek it for ourselves, should we not offer it to others? Even if they are the ones we often call upon in our time of need?
Seeing the need of an encourager requires you to pay special attention. People such as your pastors may not openly admit they need their iron sharpened, but rest assured they do. Take time to reach out to them. Look, listen, and then hear and feel. Let the spirit guide you in how to offer encouragement to the encouragers.
Encouragement doesn’t require extravagance. A quick note or message with something as simple as “Great job with the sermon today.” Often, some of the best motivators have come in the form of a compliment rather than an award. A handwritten note is a lost art of communication, however, it can be very impactful.
One thing many may have to get past is the idea of approaching someone they wish to encourage. If you are feeling a stir in your soul to do so, it is a good bet that it will be well received. Never shy away from doing something to make another person feel better. Perhaps you need encouragement to encourage an encourager….then let me do so. You can do it! You can be the iron that sharpens other’s iron. You can be the conduit God uses to lift the spirits of a person so desperate for something positive they feel it in their soul. So go on, encourage the encouragers.