Serve, Assist, Encourage

I was reviewing drafts written last month in the midst of the Write31Days Challenge, and I was struck with this phrase:

“To encourage those around us is to serve them.“

Is service really such a strong aspect of encouragement? So back to the original definition of encourage I went.

encourage: [en-kur-ij, -kuhr-] verb (used with object), 1. to inspire with courage, spirit, or confidence; 2. to stimulate by assistance, approval, etc.; 3. to promote, advance, or foster; synonyms: hearten, urge, and support [encourage. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc.http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/encourage (accessed: September 16, 2015)].

The words which struck me when I read this definition where “aid,” “assist,” “support” and “inspire with confidence.” The idea of encouragement being not merely words we say or even necessarily something we do for another that blesses them. Rather encouragement words and actions enable others to move forward with confidence. Our encouragement lifts them and holds them up, equipping them for their work. Is service then aspect of encouraging? I would say yes, we encourage with words, actions and service. If our service enables another, it is encouraging.

Am I lifting others?

encouragement enablesAre the actions and service I do enabling others for the work before them? As we each go through the “stuff” of life which occupies us, may we consider whether we encourage – aid and support. You may be assisting any variety of people and the assisting action may take a variety of forms. Still all ought to encourage, and by encouraging serve someone where they are and in the work they are doing.


2 thoughts on “Serve, Assist, Encourage”

  1. I read your words about encouragement and ask you if your have turned the thoughts over in your mind about the receiver. If what you do or say is not accepted by the recipient of your ‘encouragement’ is it truly encouragement? I have met people who, no matter what you do or say, they are not encouraged. What do you think? I like your efforts at encouraging others around you. I see and hear what you do and thank you. Keep up the good work.

  2. Interesting question. And yes, there are those we each know that no matter what we say, do or pray they are not encouraged by anything. So often I repeat with the kids that we are not responsible for how others act, rather we are responsible for ourselves. It is my responsibility to encourage, whether the other person responses to or accepts the encouragement.
    Trying to “make” others be encouraged, is too big of a burden for us to carry. So if the recipient is not encouraged, did what we do really encourage? Backing up to the way I have defined encouragement. To encourage is to assist, strengthen and support another person. My opinion, yes, we can encourage without the person on the receiving end feeling the encouragement. We can assist ans support with them realizing what we are doing. We have a responsibility to encourage when and where we can, regardless of the others actions.
    It is so much like scattering seeds. Those seeds may fall on ground that can not support their growth as easily as they may fall on ground ready to bring forth the fruit of that seed. If our job is to encourage, which I believe it is, then we scatter encouragement regardless of where it may fall and whether or not there is a receiving of the encouragement by another.

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