Today, just for kicks, I’m linking up with a group of online folks who participate in what’s called Five Minute Friday – you write for five minutes only, saying no to the backspace key and editing altogether, and you see what comes out on the other end of your timer. I kind of like it. Join in, will you?
The word? ENCOURAGEMENT.
Remember when the book The Five Love Languages hit Christian air waves, so to speak? Although without a spouse at the time, I took seriously the overall premise of the book: there are five main love language every human speaks – and in order to more fully know yourself and those you love, we need to know each other’s love language.
Like the suction cup my son now sticks to the walls of the bathtub, I sucked up the book. I read and I underlined my crinkled rose-colored copy; I scribbled in the margins, and when I finally found my chapter, the one with the greatest number of asterisks and exclamation points, I declared my language official: I was an encourager.
So I quickly learned to dish out encouragement, because, I mean, naturally, I was so good at it – but I also learned to seek out encouragement in my relationships with others, because these empowering words meant everything to me.
But as time has gone by, I think my mode of encouragement has changed a bit: because sometimes encouragement isn’t found in writing the perfect card or in coming up with the exquisitely-formed sentence of exhorting delight, but it’s simply found in saying, “I get it.” “I understand.” “I’ve been there.”
And sometimes the greatest encouragement we can offer is a knowing glance, an understanding smile, a hearing heart.
What about you? When you think of the word, “encouragement,” what’s the first thing that pops into your mind? How then do you best receive encouragement these days?