Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Love in action . . . .

When we learn the art of encouragement, we learn to see the good in ourselves as well as in others. Before we can give to others, we must have something to give. Real encouragement that makes a lasting difference is visionary. It is the willingness to imagine a good fortune, the choice to believe in a better world. It is not critical, tearing people down and nitpicking at their faults, but instead valuing their uniqueness and seeing potential that they may not be able to see for themselves. Stop weighing and measuring others, looking for perfection. There is no such thing as perfection in people. Real encouragement sees us as we yearn to be seen. Yes, there are faults, problems, evil - but there is an original vision that our deepest hearts know is the true vision. Real encouragers are willing to be fools in the eyes of cynics because they have great vision, like Martin Luther King, Jr., who dared to say to a country, "I have a dream . . . " They dare to dream first, then find ways to make the dream come true. Yet they do not force their patterns or desires on others. When the world with all its pressures takes the heart out of us, we need to hear that someone cares for and believes in us - and we need to do the same for others.

Find a way to encourage someone today and act on it.

-Share a nurturing meal.
-Write cards and letters for no reason.
-When you are thinking of someone, pick up the phone and call.
-Say a few kind words.
-Say thank you.
-Say it with flowers.
-Take time to listen to a friend.
-Smile.

"We know God wipes away all tears, but it certainly feels good when He uses human hands."
-Mary Paulson-Lauda

From the book
the Art of Encouragement

by Candy Paull

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