Encouragement – the success factor
STRENGTH FOR TODAY - Dr. Harold J. Sala (The Philippine Star) - September 9, 2018 - 12:00am

I have sent him [Tychicus] to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage your hearts. – Ephesians 6:22, ESV

Encouragement is to your heart what oxygen is to your lungs and food is to your body. There are many who flash that I-told-you-so look when things aren’t going well, yet one person with a word of encouragement can do more to lift you up than the whole lot of detractors put together. A word of encouragement can make a difference between success and failure.

When I was in my mid-20s, I learned that a prominent evangelical leader was going to be in attendance when I was speaking at a church. Honestly, I was nervous and thought that I did very poorly; however, the man whose presence intimidated me later wrote me a letter I will never forget, encouraging me and commending my feeble efforts.

The African-American educator Booker T. Washington, who fought much to get where God wanted him, wrote, “A smile of encouragement at the right moment may act like sunlight on a closed-up flower, it may be the turning point for a struggling life.” It’s easy to see the flaws and failures of others, but to single out their virtues and encourage them is often harder.

When God chose Joshua to lead the children of Israel into the Promised Land, He spoke to the leaders saying, “Encourage him, for he shall cause Israel to inherit (the land).” Several days later God spoke again, “But charge Joshua and encourage him and strengthen him; for he shall go across at the head of this people, and he shall give them as an inheritance the land which you will see” (Deuteronomy 3:28, ESV).

There may be someone you know who’s discouraged and feels like quitting. Get in there and encourage him. Perhaps you need encouragement. Remember anybody can quit; anybody can throw in the towel and walk out. But those who persevere will ultimately succeed in the end.

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Used with permission from Guidelines International Ministries. To learn more about Guidelines and the ministry, send an e-mail to info@guidelines.org. You may also visit www.guidelines.org.

DR. HAROLD J. SALA
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