In motorcycling there is a term called “target fixation”. This basically means that what you focus on is where you end up. So if there is an object in the middle of the road and you keep looking at it, you’ll eventually ride into it.
This principle is true in life too. If we focus on the good in other people’s lives, we will see more good things. So if you really want to get the best out of your life group, your team, your colleagues and the people in your world, then be sure to set your default language to ‘encouragement’. It’s that simple.
When we change our perspective and align our heart with what God see’s in other people, we bring out the best in them.
Here are three observations on encouragement – and why it is so powerful:
1) It’s the heart behind the words that builds up people
“The power of life and death is in the tongue” Proverbs 18:21.We should take great care about what comes out of our mouth. I know that I want to speak life into people and build up my team, my life group and the people in my world. Proverbs says the heart is ‘the well spring of life and everything we do flows from it’. This includes our words. What comes out of our mouth is a statement of our heart. We have to be intentional about speaking life. It’s wise to make sure our humour & passing statements aren’t tearing someone else down just so you can look good. If our heart is healthy and secure in our identity in Jesus, then encouragement will flow. If our heart is unhealthy and insecure, it will feel the need to tear people down. Check your heart.
2) Encouragement is Prophetic
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 14:3 “But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort.”
Now it’s good here to grasp the difference between encouragement and flattery. Encouragement is selfless. Flattery is selfish. So don’t flatter the people in your life. Encourage them. Do it with precision, accuracy & honesty. For a more in-depth look at this concept, check out a brilliant blog HERE called ‘Why criticism is more incisive than affirmation‘. When we speak life through encouragement, we plant prophetic seeds that will bring fruit. If you big up what is good, you’ll get more good out of people. If you focus on what is bad, you’ll get more bad out of them. Remember the ‘target fixation’ analogy. When we speak the prophetic language of encouragement, we build bigger people and create an environment of growth. This is the kind of culture we’re building at the Junction Church Leicester and our church in Loughborough.
3) Encouragement is the default language faith
It’s certainly the default language of The Junction church. That’s why so many people love it! Hebrews 3:13 says “But encourage one another daily.” When encouragement is our default setting, it creates a culture of growth. Here people flourish and are not trapped by sin. Of course we don’t deny the challenges of life. However we choose to root our faith in Christ and His victory at the cross. However when sin’s deceitfulness gets a foothold in our language, people find false comfort in criticism, discouragement, gossip and the like. We don’t want this. We want encouragement to be our norm.
Let’s be intentional about speaking the language of encouragement so we can truly bring out the BEST in others.