If my eyes are forever turned inward, I eventually wither. Great is the paradox of giving away only to turn and find you are filled to overflowing yourself. (Here I make a distinction between giving away to others from a desire to bless and uplift them and giving away because it is what is required or expected of you. When we give out of duty or obligation, we find ourselves quickly drained.) When we give to bless, the refilling we so often need is turned on us in multiplied fashion.
Caring for yourself and doing those things which encourage your own heart are beneficial and important, but the encourage life must not to stop there. Reach out to those around you – whether they express a need for encouragement or not – and seek to lift them up.
Missing What Is In Front of You
As you turn your eyes out to seek others to encourage, I ask you be to careful not to overlook those closest to you. As we seek to encourage others, often we glance over and miss those closest to us. Start with your family or your friends, then expand out to a co-worker or neighbor. As you are able to offer blessing to them, your circle of attention and influence can grow to expand beyond what it right in front of you. This expansion may take days or years to grow, but as you consistently seek to encourage others know it does grow.
What Is Not Your Responsibility
As we seek to lift a life to courage, it is good to remember whether they are truly encouraged by what we say or do is not within in our control. The person we are seeking to bless needs to receive the blessing and encouraging. I believe it is important to remember that it is not up to us to make them accept encouragement. They can walk away from the encouraging. You cannot control whether they allow it to do the work of strengthening and assisting them. We are not responsibility for whether they benefit from our encouragement. We are responsible to pour out the encouragement.
So as the new week begins I encourage you to reach out to encourage someone around you today. As I said last week, in lifting someone else up, in seeking to encourage another – you may find you are encouraged.