The Gift of Encouragement
"Encourage one another daily."1
The word encourage is made up of two words: "en" meaning "in" and "courage." Literally, it means to put courage into another person. The gift of encouragement, that is, the ability to put courage into another person, is perhaps one of the better gifts one could wish to have. Furthermore, it is a gift that everybody has—either active or latent—or that can easily be developed. It is a gift that is very much needed.
I read about an accountant who had worked for a business for many years who committed suicide. People wondered why he took his life. When examiners reviewed the company's financial records, not a single cent was found to be missing. Everything was in perfect order. They couldn't find any reason until they found a note he had written. It said, "In 30 years I have never had one word of encouragement. I'm fed up!"
Everybody wants to be appreciated and encouraged. So let each of us be sure we take our gift of encouragement, strengthen it through lots of practice and use, and take it with us and use it generously everywhere we go. And especially use it much at home.
Even when Jesus healed the ten lepers and only one came back to thank him, he asked, "Where are the nine?"
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me a thankful heart and help me to always express appreciation to my loved ones, to the people I work and mix with, to strangers who do kind acts, and most of all to You for all your wonderful blessings and kindnesses shown to me. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."
1. Hebrews 3:13 (NIV).