Thursday, September 3, 2015

Are You an Encourager?

An old farmer had a mule that didn't know its own strength. As the farmer hitched up the mule to a two-horse plow, he would say, "Giddy up, Will. Giddy up, Kate. Giddy up, John. Giddy up, Betty Lou."

A neighbor heard him one morning and stopped to ask, "How many names does that mule have?"

"Oh, he has just one," the farmer replied. "His name is Pete. But I put blinders on him and call out all the other names so he will think other mules are helping him. That way, he does the work of at least two."

I don't know about mules, but studies show that people who receive encouragement can accomplish things beyond all expectations. Encouragement works far better than "constructive" criticism.

If you form the habit of giving everyone around you at least one word of encouragement every day, you will find it beneficial. You may not make two mules out of them, but it will make both of you far better people.

The apostle Paul urged believers to "encourage each other, and build each other up" (1 Thessalonians 5:11, NLT). 

Years ago, in some denominations a person could obtain a ministerial credential called "exhorter's papers." The person's ministry consisted of personally encouraging and strongly urging believers in their churches to keep on living for the Lord. I often think we need to reinstate that credential. That's my goal as as retired minister in the church we attend.

This Labor Day, whether you are the employer or the employee, consider how you can encourage those with whom you work and begin to apply this principle on the job. You'll be surprised how much it will mean to everyone around you and how much more can be accomplished.

Encouraging works with children too. Instead of always criticizing, catch your child doing something right and praise him.


  1. A good reminder, AnnaLee. Blessings as you encourage others!

  2. Thank you, Deb! It's a good reminder to me too!