Connecting through encouragement
We all have “superpowers.” A superpower within reach of all of us is the power of encouragement. One common trait of true heroes is that they make us feel special and powerful.
This is not just a series, but a 5-week campaign to help all of us experience and unleash the power of connections in our families, our church, and our community. We want to start a “loveolution.” In the last post, we learned that knowing the keys of divine connection is key to doubling our strength, multiplying our potential, protecting our hearts, and bring the power of God’s presence to our homes and lives on earth.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
— Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV)
I can only be smart enough to succeed if I know how to use all of the brains I have and all that I can borrow. — Woodrow Wilson
The greatest thoughts I’ve ever had were thought of by others. — John Maxwell
“For wherever two or three come together in honor of my name, I am right there with them!”
— Matthew 18:20 (TPT)
“Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
— Acts 2:46-47 (NIV)
We all want what the early church had but we don’t all want to do what the early church did to have what they had.
The secret to changing the world is not shouting louder but drawing closer.
This is so important because the purpose of our lives is to love, and the only way to fully love is through connecting.
True success is when those that you set out and intended to love end up truly feeling loved. — Warren Buffet
Observations about the nature of true connection
1. True connection is not just something you say; it is a way you make someone feel. True connection is not in the head but in the heart.
2. Everyone communicates few often connect.
We all give information but few bring impartation. There is so much we could celebrate, share, and help within each other’s lives if we could just really connect.
3. At the heart of true connection is helping someone feel and realize their value, worth, and identity in God. Another word for this is encouragement.
Encouragement is an act of spiritual motivation, intentionally noticing, valuing, and calling out the greatness and potential in another person through words or actions with no ulterior motives. It is being a bridge-builder who brings the love and validation of God’s heart to a place where another can experience it.
Ways we deepen our connection with others through encouragement.
Realize the power of encouragement in connection.
People naturally move towards those who make them feel big inside and away from those who make them feel small. This is so important because most people first see the potential and value in themselves when they see it in the eyes of someone else seeing it in them!
Become intentional about the words you speak and don’t speak to communicate what God wants you to say to a person’s heart.
Never let ugly or hateful words come from your mouth, but instead let your words become beautiful gifts that encourage others; do this by speaking words of grace to help them.
The Holy Spirit of God has sealed you in Jesus Christ until you experience your full salvation. So never grieve the Spirit of God or take for granted his holy influence in your life. Lay aside bitter words, temper tantrums, revenge, profanity, and insults. But instead be kind and affectionate toward one another. Has God graciously forgiven you? Then graciously forgive on another in the depths of Christ’s love.”
— Ephesians 4:29-32 (TPT)
Begin to intentionally delete from your heart and reactions words that diminish people’s identities in their hearts or before others.
“…First take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
— Matthew 7:5 (NIV)
Some examples of accidental diminishing:
Prejudging/unintentional bias “Still face”
Rolling our eyes, impatience Critical attitude
Impatient/distracted/not listening Under enthusiastic
Putting an invisible 0 or – sign on their head instead of a +
Become intentional about hearing their hearts and responding according to their needs. Being compassionate and affectionate is responding from their point of view.
Examples of questions we can ask.
What are their dreams, hopes, feelings, and needs?
What could I guess might be their love language? (Gifts, cards, affirmation, time…)
What is something we have in common that could build a bond?
What is a question I could ask them that would comfortably help them share their heart?
“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.”
— Eph. 4:29 (NIV)
Own up when you mess up and forgive continuously.
A great way to apologize is for how you might have made them feel.
Continually learn to connect with God’s love and affirmation of you, so you become a channel of that encouragement to others.
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” — Eph. 4:32
Only the awareness and reception of Father’s love for you can make it possible to be BIG enough on the inside to become small enough (humble enough) on the outside to love.