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The world is full of discouragers. In fact, the most used tool in Satanís Tool Shed is discouragement. A word of praise or thanks, appreciation or cheer, can keep a person on their feet. There is no medicine like encouragement. Itís healing powers are able to lift up the discouraged, comfort the grieving, and relight the fires of hope within. There is no incentive so great, no tonic so powerful as the power of encouragement.
Years ago, an eight year study was conducted at the Western Electric plant in South Chicago. They made the lights brighter and then dimmer. Played music, stopped playing music. They found that no matter what they did, productivity increased. After doing the study twice, they realized that is was a simple answer. ďPeople work better when someone is paying attention to them.Ē ďHow can we encourage people? Certainly one way is to compliment someone. However, often itís about things they canít change. Their eyes, color of their hair or their stature. Sometimes itís for achievements, academics, athletics or awards won. The third level is character qualities. How did Jesus use compliments? In John 1:47, He speaks of Nathanael as an Israelite in whom there is no deceit. In Mark 14:6, He tells us that when Mary put the perfume on him that it was a good thing. When speaking to Martha about her brother Lazarus, he reminds her that her brother will rise again. In all three incidents, Jesus compliments at level three. Encouragement is a major theme of the Scriptures. Romans 12:8 calls encouragement a spiritual gift. The Greek word can be translated as comfort, encourage or even exhort. It literally means to come along side of to lift up or build up an individual. Hebrews 3:13 tells us to ďEncourage one another daily." Letís just do it. It will change you and the person you encourage. More next time.