Encouraging people is rewarding, isn’t it? It feels so good to cheer people on, telling them to “shoot for the stars” and “stick with it.” While it’s not always easy, cheering people on is exciting and fun and powerful. It’s a blessing not only to you but to those receiving the encouragement.

Yet sometimes encouragement needs to go beyond our words. Our speech needs to translate into action. Don’t just cheer people on. Don’t just encourage them with catchphrases and clichés. Actually roll up your sleeves and get messy. Mordecai famously said, “And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14). He challenged Esther, telling her God would bring help with or without her.

But then, he waits for her answer. He doesn’t just say, “Do this scary, hard thing.” He also gets in there and does all he can to help her follow through. He carries out her instructions and all her pleas for help. His words are translated into action. Encouraging words ignite encouraging work. He gathers others to stand behind her.

Will we do that for those around us? Let’s not stop at encouraging, challenging, and warning but let’s also help through action. Let’s ask for instructions and follow them. Let’s back up our words with blood, sweat and tears. It will make our encouragement not only all the more meaningful, but all the more powerful.

Lord, thank you for the chance to encourage others you place in my life. Thank you for the opportunity to support those around me. Please give me the courage to take the next step — to help. Show me the best way to go about this. Amen.

Go Deeper — Who needs your encouraging action today? Will you find the time to roll up your sleeves and get in the situation with them?

Read Further — Do you feel as if you don't have time to do more than encourage others with words? This article by Rick Warren may challenge you.

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