OK everybody up! Rise and shine! Good Morning!
Have you ever thought about our English language and wondered why we have so many words that mean the same thing but sometimes aren’t used interchangeably? Have you seen a thesaurus? OK – so maybe I’m the only one who wakes up in the morning wondering about the difference between encouragement and inspiration. What got me started on that? Someone wrote to me yesterday, “I’ve noticed you are an encourager. Does anyone encourage you?” Earlier in the day, I got an invitation to meet two friends who are very dear to me and who have been an inspiration to me. There was a point at work where I had an opportunity to cheer someone on through a frustrating issue. Later a friend sent me an instant message with words that encouraged me. My dear sister-in-law, Jennie, commented on my blog to encourage me; a friend I’ve never met sent me a beautiful message through LinkedIn, and another friend, Lisa, sent me an inspiring note. Does anyone encourage me? What do you think? Yes! Yes! A thousand times yes. Corinthians 13:11 says “Encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.” Am I inspired? Of course!
Dictionary.com says encourage means to inspire with courage, spirit, or confidence. Sometimes we don’t feel like encouraging, we are just plain weary, or we’re out of ideas. Have we ever heard of re-cycling? It’s totally legal and highly recommended. It’s OK to recycle a sincere compliment, a random act of kindness, a hug, a smile, a written sentiment – what inspires you? Recycle it for someone else and encourage them. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” Practice …. Philippians 4:9 “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me [Paul], or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
Remember what Vince Lombardi said, “Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.” What can we do to spread encouragement and inspire each other today? Think about it … then act it out. Practice. Hebrews 3:13 “Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today’….” If we get the inside right, the outside will take care of itself. It doesn’t matter if we encourage or inspire ….as long as we act!
Ready? Let’s get out there while it’s still ‘today’.