Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Cor. 15:58


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Are You an Encourager or a Discourager?

From Jan: Thursday's Writer
I have been both this week and it wasn’t pretty, but I realize now, that God was putting me through the paces to prepare me for being a part of the Encourage 365 team.
While thinking about what to write for my first post here, I was reminded of Hebrews 10:24
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” (NIV)
Spur – that’s a good word!  Other Bible versions use the words stimulate, motivate, incite, help each other, provoke, stir up, encourage, excite, arouse, to call to action – all good words to describe what it means to be an encourager.
This verse urges (another good word) us to consider, pay attention to, think about ways that we can encourage each other to move toward love and toward doing good deeds.
As Christian bloggers, we need that encouragement. We write, because we are called to write. To share our lives and the love of Christ with those around the world. Sometimes we wonder if anyone is actually reading what we write. Stats are confusing and often unreliable, comments are few and far between and followers don’t really seem to be following.
This is exactly why we need encouragement, because without it, we are apt to wax cold. We begin to think that what we’re doing doesn’t matter, that we aren’t making a difference, but that’s just what the enemy wants us to believe. He wants to stop us cold and put an end to all this God stuff.
He wants to bring discouragement into our hearts, but guess what…we’re not going to let him do it!
Together we are going to encourage one another and every reader who finds their way (directed by God) to Encourage 365. Not only that, we are going to encourage other believers to blog – to use the internet to share the awesome great love of God for His creation, for His people, because in doing so, we are fulfilling the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19) to carry the gospel to all nations. What better way to do that than the internet!
Few of us will travel to a foreign nation as missionaries in our lifetimes, but we can go the nations from our kitchen table through blogging. We can let people know that they are loved, that their lives have purpose and that they matter to God and to us!
So, let’s rally the troops, let’s be a small but mighty army of encouragers, provoking (in a good way) one another on to fulfill our calling in Christ Jesus.
As for me – I’ve learned my lesson the hard way. This week, I’ve seen what words of discouragement can do to both myself and to others and I’ve felt my spirit lifted by the encouraging words of others.  You might say that God gave me an object lesson regarding the power of words to both encourage and discourage.
Lesson learned!  I’m happy and honored to be a part of the Encourage 365 team and will be posting here every Thursday. Thank you, Kelly, for this opportunity.
How about you? Have you been both an encourager and a discourager? What has God taught you in this area?
Jan Christiansen is a freelance writer, web designer, blogger, and author of Wake Up Your Muse-1001 Story Starters for Fiction Writers, and two devotional books, More of Him, Less of Me and Desert Morsels. Her work appears in Love is a Verb Devotional by Gary Chapman and in several online publications. Jan is the founder of Inspired Ink Writers Group (IIWC) and Fellowship of Christian Bloggers (FOCB) and is a member of ACFW, working on her first fiction novel. She will blog here at Encourage 365 every Thursday! 

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  1. I'm pretty sure I've been both-- though I'd rather encourage. Loved this post, Jan!

  2. Thanks, Kelly. It's funny when you write something it makes you more aware of when you're doing it. Caught myself ready to say something discouraging today and bit my tongue.