For people of all ages, encouragement is a welcome and affirming blessing. Any time that someone makes an effort to say something positive, it can uplift the spirit. A compliment or an observation of a valued charactar trait can change the direction of someone’s life. Be an encourager to those around you! You will never regret speaking a kind word or letting someone know of your appreciation or admiration. Children need loving and specific words of encouragement to nourish their spirits and to guide them. Your words of encouragement will be remembered and cherished by your children.
Below, you will find some suggestions for encouragement, some scriptures about encouraging others, and a link to a post about finding personal encouragement in God’s Word.
Here are some compliment and encouragement categories and some suggested specifics to look for in encouraging others:
Character and Christlikeness
Loving actions and attitudes
Gifts and Abilities
Whether gifts and abilities are athletic, artistic, journalistic, mechanical, musical, intellectual, practical, useful or aethetic, there are some common positives to encourage as others develop and use what God has given.
* Time invested in practice, rehearsal, or otherwise developing and refining one’s gifts and abilities
* Perseverance during times when it is difficult to continue using one’s gifts and abilities
* An attitude of generosity and acknowledgement concerning the gifts and abilities of others
* Using gifts and abilities to benefit others and to bring glory to God
Personal Appearance and Grooming
There are many areas of appearance and grooming over which people have no control, so it is often good to consider the effort that someone puts into trying to look their best with what they have. This is the trickiest category for complimenting and encouraging, but an appropriate compliment is always welcome.
* Color: “That color looks great on you” or “… brings out the color of eyes/hair”, pleasing eye or hair color, color of clothing or accessories, even nail polish
* Cut / fit: “That outfit looks so good on you.” (probably one of the safest)
* Style: remarks about liking specifics such as a buckle or the cut of a collar or sleeve, the shape of a handbag, or the length and shaping of a haircut
* Hair: nice haircut or style, color, the healthy or shiny look of hair
* Complexion/Face: Complimenting a smile is always good! Also, healthy complexion, beautiful eyes, well-applied make-up
* Body/weight: a generic compliment saying that someone is looking healthy or looking trim and fit can be appropriate in some circumstances. Telling someone they “look great today” when they have obviously taken pains to look their best is a validation of their efforts. NOTE: This is one area of appearance that warrants caution regarding what to compliment. Always think through what you wish to say and make sure that it is appropriate.
Here is what the Bible has to say about encouragement:
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
And Judas and Silas, who were themselves prophets, encouraged and strengthened the brothers with many words.
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
To equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you.
* Note: All of the above scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Holy Bible. They were copied from the following web page: http://www.openbible.info/topics/encouraging_each_other (and then edited by the author of this post).
Are you looking for personal encouragement?
Here is a blog post with scriptures to encourage your own heart: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/bible-verses-for-encouragement-20-great-scripture-quotes/
This post was written and compiled by C. Boyd