Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thought on Encouragement

Here is a great quote on encouragement from Tullian Tchividjian. Let me know your thoughts.

"There's a counterfeit type of encouragement and a genuine type of encouragement. The counterfeit type is what the Bible calls flattery. It's selfish smooth talk. The person who offers it does so for selfish reasons (If I tell this person something nice, he'll do for me what I want him to do). But true encouragement is different. Understood biblically, real encouragement is the verbal affirmation of someone's strength, giftedness, or accomplishment, along with the realization that God the Creator is the ultimate source behind whatever's being affirmed.

This type of encouragement is something all human beings not only crave but in fact need. God intended us to feed on it. The reason we require it is that we're images of God, designed to reflect Him. So when others aren't acknowledging God's reflection in who we are and what we do - when we're not being encouraged - it leads to a hardened heart, a saddened disposition, and a debilitated lifestyle; we lose our sense of what it means to be human. Some of the most tragically hardened and fruitless people I know are those who have rarely, if ever, been encouraged.

The secret of true encouragement is learning to see God's reflection in others, not just in Christians but in everyone. Encouragement is noticing God's reflection in other people's strengths and gifts, then verbally affirming what we see. Since all human beings are made in God's image, we all - believers and unbelievers alike - reflect God in unique ways. Learning to see this uniqueness and to point it out can have a significant impact as we strive to make a difference in our world for the sake of God's kingdom.

No comments: