"No one lights a lamp only to put it under a bowl. The result would be encompassing darkness. Instead, they put it on its stand where it gives light and comfort to everyone in its presence. That's how it is with the gift of encouragement and support. Radiating God's love through unselfish gifts of encouragement and support lightens not only the hearts of those we expose it to, it warmly reflects back to our own hearts, filling us with joy and completeness in who we are in Jesus Christ!" [Excerpt from my book WORTHY IN HIS EYES: Part Six: WORTHY: BY GOD'S SAVING GRACE ALONE...Chapter Three: Encouragement & Support] © Kathleen M. Pritchard
God is the ultimate Encourager!! He is always available when my heart needs a boost. His Word strengthens me and His unconditional love, support and encouragement refreshes my soul and fixes my eyes on what is truly important in life. He has also blessed my life with several close folks whose human encouragement and support have uplifted me countless times.
Words, whether received or expressed carry enormous weight. Genuine words of encouragement & support are the fuel which keeps our life-lamp shining bright and full of hope. Words of discouragement threaten to snuff out our ability to see all the joy and wonders God wants us to see.
Many, many folks kept my life-lamp burning brightly. Their gifts of encouragement and support spurred me on to do my very best. The outcome of efforts to try new ways to accept and adapt was not as important as the effort itself and that effort was sparked by genuine belief in and acceptance of who I was and who I am now.
In turn, I began to reach out to others more confidently. I hungered to mirror that source of encouragement, wanting to be used by God to blanket someone else with comfort and support. Words which build up, give confidence to, praise, inspire, cheer on, exhort and lift up are powerful tools to nurture another human being. Words which pull down, challenge, criticize, belittle and hold no respect toward another are also powerful tools--used for destruction they do not nurture but rather add to the pain.
Words of encouragement are like tiny little gems anyone can give away. To cultivate the gift of encouragement careful attention to what we say and how we say it is essential. Sincere and genuine verbal [& physical] kindness often lightens a heavy load from another's heart. The burden may still remain but words of encouragement and support, words that uplift make an enormous difference. This makes God smile.
The passage below does not exclude or state qualification. It speaks to every single person: "YOU are the light of the world." How Kip and I love those who kept, and still keep our life-lamps burning brightly. We strive daily to do the same for others.....to build up not tear down, to make God smile and ultimately to bring Him honour and glory. Our motive must not be selfish for our own personal gain or glorification. Our motive must be to radiate for Christ as He is the Purest and Holiest Light of the World.
"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." Matthew 5: 14-16 NIV
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