The most powerful motivation you can give others

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Dr. Ernest Mellor tells a story of him and his wife attending an outdoor performance by young violin students. After the concert, an instructor spoke briefly on how children as young as two, three, and four years old are taught to play violin. The first thing the children learn, he said, is a proper stance. And the second thing the children learn—even before they pick up the violin—is how to take a bow.

“If the children just play the violin and stop, people may forget to show their appreciation,” the instructor said. “But when the children bow, the audience invariably applauds. And applause is the best motivator we’ve found to make children feel good about performing and want to do it well.”

This doesn’t just apply to children; adults love applause, too. Being affirmed and encouraged in any aspect of life—marriage, work, and friendship for example—makes us feel wonderful. But on the other hand, harsh criticism tears us down and results in poorer performance.

As Christians, we’re commanded to encourage others whether they are our friends, our spouses, or our coworkers. So make it a point to encourage others with the love of Christ. It will be a great motivator for them, and it will reaffirm and strengthen your relationship!

Prayer Challenge

Pray and ask God to show you how you can specifically encourage others in your life.

Questions for Thought

What’s the best word of encouragement you’ve ever received? How did it make you feel?

Who are some people you know that could use a word of encouragement from you today?