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  • Writer's pictureRandy McKenzie

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up. 1st Thessalonians 5:11 NIV

I grew up in a housing project. It was a large group of apartment buildings in Kentucky. We moved there when I was 3 and lived there until I was 13. Our family of 5 lived in a two-bedroom apartment. My parents had one bedroom and my two brothers, and I shared the other one.

Yes, we were poor, but we really did not know it. I say that because we were rich in friends. Early each morning kids would be tossing small sticks against our window to wake us up or waiting outside for us to come out and play. It was a good feeling knowing they would be there waiting when we came out. They were always there encouraging my twin brother and me to get up and come out to play. It gave us a reason to get up in the morning. It was a good feeling. That's what friends do.

A friend is one who overlooks your broken fence and admires the flowers in your garden


We always had 10 -15 kids to hang around with. Two basketball courts, a baseball diamond, areas for football, camping; and just playing. We were always outside until dark. Our days were full and the area felt like a giant playground. Our world seemed so big then.

We were happy there. I go back occasionally for a visit and it looks so small now and very different. All the people I knew are gone. I do miss those days and my friends.

My older brother used to pick on me. No day was complete unless he made mine miserable.

He would yank back my covers, trip me, wrestle me to the ground and sit on my chest. Thanks to him I learned the meaning of the word wedgie.

But all of his cruel antics were offset by one great act of grace. He would always pick me to play on his team. Not because of my skills but just because I was his brother. I would wait and wait to hear my name called, hearing many other names called before mine, then finally my brother would yell out my name. These teams were made up of kids his age ( 3 years older) and no one else would have picked me. He said I should play with the older kids because it would make me better. He encouraged me and built me up. How do you suppose this used to make me feel?

God Does this.

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other...

Romans 15:5 NIV

So does Jesus.

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope,17 encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

2nd Thessalonians 2:16-17

Encouragers stack stones of affirmations and inspiration. The encourager sees your best self and carves it out, not with a chisel but with words of affirmation. Studies have shown that positive emotions can increase our awareness, allowing us to see the bigger picture and expand our vision. Positive emotions can help strengthen our relationships and even improve our physical health.

The Bible encourages us in no casual manner but with resolve to lift the spirit of another person.

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Hebrews 10:24 -25 NIV

People have a way of becoming what you encourage them to be-not what you nag them to be. Every person needs to hear that they are good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, strong enough, wonderful, marvelous, lovely, delightful, special, amazing, cool, awesome, brilliant, enjoyable, and more. We all just want to be loved.

Here is why.

Companies spend billions of dollars to convince us that we are deficient and inadequate. They hire people that have the brightest minds and the deepest pockets to convince us that we are chubby, smelly, ugly, and out-of-date.

We need to remind humanity that we are made in God's image. That we are chosen, destined, and loved. That God is for us and not against us. That we are in God's hands and are part of God's plan.

Give the gift of encouragement and build one another up.

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