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Monday, December 17, 2012

The 10 + 1 Building Blocks Of Relationships: Encouragement

This is a guest post from Chris Vonada. Chris is an aspiring author and professional geologist, and also enjoys reading, running, anything outdoors, travel, family, friends, music and life! He writes about his passions at I’m Just Thinkin’ (  

Encouragement conveys a spirit of hope. Encouragement instills courage in those who receive our words of inspiration. It helps them feel capable, like they have something meaningful to contribute. This building block is another of the 10 + 1 that reaches far.

The Bible says we are to "Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them." Ephesians 4:29

I tend to thrive on inspiration and encouragement. I know that's a part of my personality, maybe it's the same for some of you as well. Where do I find inspiration? Well, in addition to receiving encouragement regularly from the people who are in my close circles, I also find it every day in God. A daily exercise of this comes through the devotional that I read.

"I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; Be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD." Psalm 27:13-14

As I mentioned, the people in my life also help encourage me, and I try to reciprocate that effort. Want to be a regular force of encouragement in someone's life? Be their daily devotional. How? This, again, starts with understanding their needs. For most of us, there is something going on every day in our lives. Call it our focus or dilemma, we tend to have some area that has our attention or interest. Knowing what this is can be the key to offering valuable encouragement.

Encourage the act or activity that a person does, not necessarily the person. For example, encouragement would be to say "Congratulations, you've worked hard and earned that good grade!" when our child gets an "A" - as opposed to "I'm very proud of you for getting an A" - note the subtle difference in form... we're promoting the recipient of our kind words to go have at it again, giving them self confidence, instead of continually seeking approval, often the long-term result of the second expression, a praise.

Be strong and courageous... go forth and prosper! - CV

What words or actions do you find encouraging? How do you encourage others?
+ + +
Chris's new book is out and available for purchase. Common Ground...Geology Happens!  Check it out. I have my copy. Do you?


From Carols Quill said...

I appreciated your comparison with the comments about the "A" grade. You're right that we all like our hard work to be appreciated. Thanks for that.

chris said...

I think there's much to be added to this subject on encouragement.

"Come, my children, and listen to me,
and I will teach you to fear the Lord.
Does anyone want to live a life
that is long and prosperous?
Then keep your tongue from speaking evil
and your lips from telling lies!
turn away from evil and do good,
search for peace, and work to maintain it." Psalm 34: 11-14

Good words, peace, love and encouragement. Love it!!

Thanks again for hosting this series!!

Pam B. said...

Okay, so the timing of this post, a God thing? I'm reading this just a few hours after putting my foot in my mouth in something I said to my son. I knew the minute I said it, it came out wrong. I tried and I hope I smoothed it out and I know he won't hold it against me, because he is just that way. I want to be affirming and encouraging. In contrast, God encouraged me today. I asked Him a question this morning and He gave me the answer this evening. I see the goodness of God.

From Carols Quill said...

Oh--dear Pam. Sometimes I try to be encouraging and I just know I only ended up being annoying. I need to change my prayers from "show me who needs encouragement" to "show me the way this person needs to be encouraged.