Do you ever feel like you need some encouragement? Often our hectic world drives us to feel unappreciated and uncared for.  We perform all day long and often never hear a word of appreciation. Students often demand from their parents, car rides, attention, money, and love without ever showing appreciation for them. Likewise, parents often demand good grades, clean rooms, and success on the field. I found parents rarely show verbal appreciation to their kids. Perhaps at work you give it your all, but your boss never encourages you or shows you that they appreciate you. The truth is, almost all of us are running low on encouragement.  

Proverbs 12:25 says, “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.”

Kind words and encouragement have power! If you are anything like me, you will remember compliments and encouragement someone gave you from years ago! I can remember the exact words my basketball coach gave me in the locker room from 10th grade. Why? Because they were encouraging! I can remember the exact words from Pastor Kathy, after I gave my first message 6 years ago at Orchard Hill. Why? Because they were encouraging! I can remember the exact words my wife has spoken to me over the course of our relationship. Why? Because they were encouraging words!

A simple sentence of appreciation can give someone the encouragement they need to make it through a difficult season of life. The truth is, we all could use some encouragement today. Here is my challenge for you! Every day from now until Christmas, offer encouragement or appreciation to someone. Give verbal encouragement and affirmation to your students. Students give verbal encouragement to your parents. Employees give encouragement to your employers. Employers give some encouragement to your employees. As Christians give encouragement to non-believers. Give encouragement to strangers! By doing so, you will you cheer up hearts, bring smiles, and most important share a small but potent dose of God’s love.

P.S. Please do not commit to this challenge to be nice or to be a “better person”. Let the motivation for this challenge come from a desire to better love God and love your neighbor. Go encourage!

Greg Salmon – Youth Pastor