Sharing more from my talk at Sister of Stone’s Fall Retreat on Encouragement. Sisters, encouragement is a gift we all have been given. We are called to encourage other build each other up. Each of us, not just those who have the gift of God’s grace and presence is revealed through the encouragement of others.
When I was preparing for my talk and studying the topic of encouragement I began by opening up good old Webster’s dictionary and looking up the definition.
the action of giving someone support, confidence, or hope.
And that is when it hit me, encouragement is not just saying pretty words or telling someone how wonderful they are. True, authentic encouragement runs deeper then that-to builds up others towards Christ. If our ultimate hope is in Christ (Ps. 31:24), an encourager will point her sister or brother to christ with their words and actions. A true friend won’t just tell you what you want to hear but gently and graciously direct you towards truth.
I have a darling friend and mentor who I go to when I need a bit of sound advice and encouragement. She is always ready with a cup of tea (or glass of wine) and some sound advice. She will sit, listen and then speak truth into my life. It’s not always what I want to hear, but she ALWAYS points me back to my savior through prayer and scripture.
If we desire to be women that speak life and give hope, we need to begin by being rooted in truth yourself. Spend time in the word, soaking up scripture and God will use you to point others towards him.
This morning in my devotional on hospitality and it shared the importance of preparing our hearts before we prepare our homes. The author used the familiar story of Mary and Martha but had a new twist.
“…Mary, who seated herself at the Lord’s feet and was listening to His teaching” Luke 10:39
Before we open our lives to people, before we give encouragement or speak truth it’s crucial that we sit and prepare our hearts before the Lord. Learn from him how to love those who are hard to love, cry out for wisdom to share and allow His on abundant grace to give true hope to all you meet.