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The Sound of Encouragement

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another---and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Hebrews 10:25

Who encourages me? I pondered this question as I started writing this devotion. Several people came to mind.

Our readers encourage the writers of this devotional site. Sometimes I wonder if my writings are meaningful. Several times I have questioned my ability only to be encouraged by a reader that very week. Other writers have shared that they have experienced the same phenomenon.

I am on another of my perpetual diets. I am convinced that this time is for a lifetime. We’ll see. However, each time I diet, my husband encourages me. He applauds every lost pound with the hope that I will keep it off.

Jerry also encourages me in other aspects of my daily struggles. One of the early disciples was Barnabus. His name means Encourager and he encouraged the apostle Paul. Jerry is the Barnabus of my life.

 My daughter encourages me when she thanks me for not interfering in her life. Not that I ever would! She doesn’t know about the hole in my lip where I have bitten through it many a time. Of course her faith in my restraint encourages me to keep silent when I feel I know best for her family. She may have a motive, but it helps.

My former students from the University of Texas at Tyler and church Sunday school encourage me when they recall being in my class. They usually have a funny story to tell or a favorite memory. One young adult shared that the thing he remembered most about my fourth-grade Sunday school class was the candy stick he received on his birthday. Oh well, so much for great theological truths.

 Who encourages you? It might be a co-worker or a close friend. It could be a family member. If your answer is “No one,” then you be an encourager yourself. Don’t wait for someone else to pat you on the back.

Look around you. Does some service person go out of the way to help you? Reinforce that behavior. Does your child need a boost after studying hard for a test? How about your mate? Can you enliven his life by pointing out some good deed he has done or some good quality he possesses? Has a friend stood by you during some crisis and now needs reassurance in her own life? You be the Barnabus in someone else’s life.

Dear Father, Thank You for the encouragers in our lives. Help us bolster the lives of others and be the Barnabus in their lives.

Janice Yandell                                                                        

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