Be Encouraging and Uplifting

God’s word is full of examples of encouragement and likewise directs us to encourage, edify, and uplift the people with which we engage daily.  Every day presents a chance to have a positive impact on the lives of the people around us, and we must take advantage of every opportunity. Words are very powerful. They are a valuable tool, and it is up to us to use this tool Intentionally to give positive encouragement through the day. Moreover, it will encourage us when we encourage others. The book of Proverbs has much to say about the use of our words.
Proverbs 12:18
18 The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Proverbs 3:27
27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.

Proverbs 16:21
21 The wise in heart are called discerning, and gracious words promote instruction.

Proverbs 16:24
24 Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

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

            Think about a time when someone genuinely encouraged, complimented or recognized something you did. How did this make you feel? We all enjoy hearing something good about ourselves.
I had a Regional Vice President who started most meetings by pulling out his legal pad with 4-5 pages of notes. He then started around the room and by name said encouraging and complimentary remarks about each person and why he appreciated them. This took extra time from the meeting but WOW, we really enjoyed the way his meetings started! We have the ability to make many people feel this good every day. A great way to demonstrate our Christianity is to support and encourage others. Actively prepare your heart and mind to do so daily by being alert to the many opportunities that you encounter every day!
Proverbs 15:1
1  A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Proverbs 15:4
4  The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.

Consider Paul’s words to the church in Ephesus:
Ephesians 4:29
29  Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

There are two other practical issues worth addressing, and they are the receiving and giving of compliments. It is very curious how difficult this can be for some people!
            Most everyone is appreciative of receiving a sincere compliment. Once during my tenure as a district manager for a company that no longer exists, we had a Regional Manager come down from the home office to gain “field experience” (in other words, they never worked in the real world and needed to find out what it was like). He had read all of the textbooks and did his best to apply the principles therein, but many times when he praised the work of others it did not come across as being sincere, as if he was reading from a book. When you give a compliment, you must ensure that it is sincere—people have a tendency to detect a fake compliment and are naturally put off. Furthermore, “backhanded” compliments are not compliments. And there are not “buts” in compliments. Many, I say many times I have heard someone say as an example “nice job on your presentation but you missed one of the points we discussed earlier” This is not a compliment, we all know it will be taken as criticism.
            Receiving compliments can be just as problematic for some. All too often I have seen that some people do not know how to respond to a genuine compliment. If this describes you, then you can feel fortunate that a very simple solution exists. Just say, “Thank you!” Responding with a joke, or a wisecrack can often deflate the whole reason for the compliment in the first place.
            As Christians, it is our responsibility to intentionally build up, encourage, and edify those around us.