Discouragers cause walls of division between people; but we forget that we need the support of one another.
Do we major in encouragement (building people up) or in discouragement (tearing people down)?
Do we nag and harass our family and friends about their weaknesses or do we praise them for their strengths?
When you enter a room or people see you at the shopping mall; do they avoid you because they know you have an ever ready list of the faults of everyone and anyone? Or do people cheer because you are a bright light of sunshine...one of those gracious gifts of God who sees the good in people...even in some people where something good is hard to find. Well, are you an encourager or a discourager?
I remember reading a true story when Lou Gehrig, the great baseball hero, was starting his baseball career. He went into a slump and grew so discouraged he was thinking of quitting. After several bad games, he doubted his talent and ability, and his spirits collapsed. A friend heard that he was in a slump, and he took a train to Hartford, Connecticut, and invited Lou to join him for a steak dinner. During that dinner Lou poured out his frustrations, and his friend could see that the player’s confidence was shot. So his friend spent the evening telling Lou that all hitters go through slumps, that even Ty Cobb failed to get hits six or seven times out of every ten tries. But he told him that eventually good hitters start hitting again, and his friend reminded him that he was a good hitter. After dinner Gehrig walked with his friend to the train station and thanked him for coming. The next day, Lou started blasting the ball again, and over the next eleven games he came through with twenty-two hits, including six home runs-and his career took off. He decided not to quit after all.
Yes, we are all entitled to our own opinions but remember what Grandma used to say? “If you don’t have anything nice to say, Don’t say anything at all?” Be the hand that lifts someone up when they have fallen. Be the hug or the smile that someone needs when they have no one else. Lend a listening ear when someone needs to talk. You never know YOU just might be that person who keeps someone from committing suicide or doing something that they really shouldn’t be doing! Be someone’s blessing.
Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will never forget you. - William Arthur Ward