The Power of Encouragement

 

“The bottom line is this—at the end of the day I’m responsible to keep myself encouraged.”

Last week, the Cedar Hills team attended a one day conference in Seattle. For me, one of the most memorable insights came just 30 minutes after the conference started. Ray Johnston made the statement “One of a leader’s greatest responsibilities is to keep himself/herself encouraged.”

I’ve known for a long time how important it is to encourage others, but I don’t think I’ve ever thought about the responsibility I have to keep myself encouraged. And yet it makes so much sense.

Life can be tough, leadership can be tough, and because nobody knows better than me if my encouragement levels are rising or falling, I must keep discouragement at bay and keep myself encouraged.

 I was reminded of an obscure Bible verse in the book of 1 Samuel.

David was now in great danger because all his men were very bitter about losing their sons and daughters, and they began to talk of stoning him. But David found strength in the LORD his God. 1 Samuel 30:6 (NLT)

Now that’s discouragement! David’s men are holding him responsible for the loss of their wives and children, and in their anger plan to kill him. Yet I love what David did. He didn’t wait for someone to share an inspirational text or send him a card. He didn’t whine, complain or blame. He didn’t wait around for someone else to encourage him.

 He strengthened himself in the Lord.

The bottom line is this—at the end of the day I’m responsible to keep myself encouraged. So why? Why is encouragement so important? 6 reasons:

  •  Encouragement fills my tank. Discouragement empties it.

  • Encouragement breeds confidence. Discouragement breeds doubt.

  • Encouragement focuses me on what I have. Discouragement focuses me on what I lack.

  • Encouragement tells me to keep going. Discouragement whispers that I should quit. 

  • Encouragement declares the best is yet to come. Discouragement convinces me the best is behind me.

  • Encouragement shrinks the size of my problems. Discouragement shrinks the size of my God.

So here’s my invitation…join me in being an encourager today! Shoot someone a text. Send an encouraging gif. Mail a handwritten note. But whatever you do…don’t forget about your responsibility to keep yourself encouraged.

 

Eric