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Words to Live By

Who here is a list maker? A to do list, check list, packing list, grocery shopping list, Christmas list. Lists keep us focused, organized, and prioritized.

Do you have an Encourage One Another List?

What is an Encourage One Another List?

I’m sure you know that encouraging others is important. You’ve probably done it, a lot. And I’m sure you know it isn’t a one and done thing. It’s a way of life that - as leaders, spouses, parents, colleagues, and friends - we want to cultivate.

An Encourage One Another list makes it easier to find just the right word!

Emotional Fuel

Positive words are priceless to someone who’s stressed, discouraged, or doubting. Pastor Dan Reiland reminds us, “Encouragement provides the emotional fuel that enables people to hold longer, reach farther, and dig deeper than previously believed possible.”

Help Someone Stand Taller

I remember walking up to my desk at the beginning of the workday and noticing an envelope with my name on it. Not a long rectangular envelope that holds a check. A smaller envelop, that hadthat “special note” feeling all over it. I immediately wondered, “What did it say? Who was thinking of me?”

I quickly opened it up to find a note from my boss with encouraging words about me and my work. She knew I was discouraged and questioning. That note put a smile on my face and made me stand a little taller. It gave me assurance. I didn’t have to wonder what my boss thought of me. I didn’t have to wonder if I was doing enough or doing well. It motivated me to do my best.

Are you the kind of person that wants to have the impact that my boss had on me that day?

8 ways to use My Encourage One Another list.

1. Give as a Present

· Make a list of words that describe a loved one and share it with them.

· Think about when you might give it: birthday, Christmas, Mother’s/Father’s Day, anniversary, special outing or milestone (graduation, confirmation, baptism, end of school year, beginning of school year, annual trip)

· Be creative in how you might give it e.g. a framed list, printed/painted on a canvas, Wordle, PowerPoint, handwritten note, poem, song

2. Encourage Yourself

· Circle the words that describe you.

· Put them in a place where you’ll see them often: tape to your computer screen, write on a mirror with a white board marker, post on your car dashboard, put on your phone screen, post near the kitchen sink (you need something to do while washing dishes!).

3. Pray Them Over Your Kids and Loved Ones

As you read the list and authentically pick out ones that describe your loved one, it’s possible there are words you’d love to use to describe them, but those words aren’t what you see - yet. Start praying those words over your loved one and see what God does.

4. Express Sympathy

When writing in a sympathy card, list the qualities of the person who is no longer with us. Honor and bless the person you are writing to by sharing the qualities you appreciate in the loved one who died.

5. Hand-written Cards

Do you struggle with what to write in a birthday or thank you card? Choose two or three words when writing thank you cards, birthday cards, or notes of appreciation.

6. Read Them

Read the list regularly. Here’s why:

· put yourself in a positive mindset

· impart them in yourself

· recognize them in others

· be ready to tell others in real time (keeps you authentic)

7. Verbalize Them

Slip them into everyday conversation – when you greet a loved one in the morning or bid them goodnight, at the dinner table, after a big accomplishment or whenever you see someone living out the quality you see in them.

8. Focus Your Personal Growth

Lots of organizations choose a Word of the Year (WOTY). A word they’ve assessed as the most important word or expression during a specific year. Instead of reflecting backwards, project forward. Pick one to be your Word of the Year. What quality would you like to see more of in yourself this year. What quality would help you love others better? Live more fully into your purpose and mission?

Who in your world could use an encouraging word?

Don’t just think about it, encourage them today.

Download your free Encourage One Another list.

If you liked this post, click the heart. It just might encourage someone else to read it.

P.S. Take it another step: Think of someone you don’t like or get along with so well. Identify 5-10 words that describe that person and see how that impacts your relationship.

This blog was inspired by work I did for TENTMAKERS Youth Ministry.

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