The Secret of Encouragement

Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give unto your bosom.” – Luke 6:38

The phone rang. The caller on the other end was crying and apologetic. The more she cried, the more she apologized. The more she apologized, the more she cried. I listened intently, prayed with her, and hung up the phone. Hurriedly, I rushed to the supermarket, picked up a couple of items and then rushed to the caller’s home. Later, with the image of her fishing through those shopping bags still fresh in my mind, I asked myself, “Who is happier? Her or I?” Without a doubt, I knew it was I.

I was saved at the age of sixteen out of the home of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I married the best preacher in the world. I graduated from Hyles-Anderson, Magna Cum Laude, with a 3.8 grade average. I am the mother of three God-given boys. But, I have no greater thrill apart from salvation than to be able to meet someone else’s need. The Bible says in Acts 20:35: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” In other words, it is more encouraging to give than to receive. The giver is happier than the receiver. The encourager is happier than the encouraged. The truth is, you and I would be much happier if we knew the SOURCE OF ENCOURAGEMENT.

Luke 6:38: “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give unto your bosom.” The source of encouragement is to encouragement. One must give what one hopes to receive. One must encourage to be encouraged. Ladies, God has made it so that our joy and our happiness is in direct proportion to and is determined by HOW MUCH WE GIVE TO OTHERS.

In Matthew 7:12, Jesus said: “…whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them…” People have given my family cars, shoes, suits, dresses, bags and bags of children’s clothes, skirts, money, dinners, vacations, plane tickets, beds, jewelry, baby clothes, food, labels, etc. One day, a preacher mailed my husband a package. In it was a shirt my husband had left behind while away preaching. The shirt had been washed. A new pen-watch, a pack of mints and a love note telling my husband how much he appreciated his stand. But many times my husband has done the same thing.

Jesus said: “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise” (Luke 6:31). I give away clothes; I am given more clothes. I give away food; I am given more food. I give away shoes; I am given more shoes. I give away jewelry; I am given more jewelry. In other words, you’re lonely today because you want to be. You’re unloved today because you want to be. You’re friendless today because you want to be.

You must make deposits in the Institute of Comfort, Friendship and Love in order to make withdrawals in your time of need. God is saying, don’t sit around and wait for others to comfort you. You go and comfort others! God is saying, don’t sit around waiting for others to love you. Go and love others! Don’t sit around waiting for others to be friendly to you. Go and be friendly to others. Proverbs 18:24 says: “A man that hath friends, must shew himself friendly…”

People are too unpredictable. People are too selfish. In most cases, here is one discouraged, selfish Christian sitting back waiting for another selfish, discouraged Christian to encourage her. That is why we are always discouraged; because our happiness is always dependent upon others.

God has placed our ability to be happy in our own hands–by what we give to others. We are selfish. We don’t help others because we think we need to be helped. We don’t listen to others because we feel we need to be heard. We don’t try to satisfy others because we want our own needs fulfilled. Friends, how long are you going to try to be happy on the receiving end?

When my husband first started our church, seven years ago, we didn’t really have a lot of food. I can remember having baked potatoes for dinner. One morning a call came. We heard of someone else’s need for food. They did not even have a baked potato for themselves or for the children. We decided to use our meager amount of money to buy groceries for them. We were having so much fun shopping we forgot the amount of money we had until we reached the register. We didn’t have enough money. We had to put some things back, but we couldn’t wait to put the groceries at their front door before the awakened in the morning. How happy we were! We experienced the blessedness of giving.

One of my loved ones was in need of food. I asked her to go with me to the market seeing I had a few dollars to spare from my grocery money. She was happy just to receive anything. I ended up spending all my grocery money to buy groceries for her. Tears came to my eyes just to see the expression on her face. How happy I was!

We are selfish; that’s why we don’t go soul-winning. Do you want to be encouraged? Go soul-winning. Do you want friends? Go soul-winning. Are you lonely? Go soul-winning. You’re a crab–A Christian crab! You’re a leach–a Christian leach! You are only out to get, get, get! You are out to get all you can and to can all you get. You are a saved Scrooge. Your fists are all balled up tight. That is why no one invites you over to his or her house. That is why you don’t have these stories to tell. Give! And God will use others to give to you.

The receiver of many things is not incidental. They have a life-time of giving. Here are several suggestions:

  1. Write down other people’s birthdays. Anything to say you were at least thinking about them. Don’t let their special day go by without THEM receiving something FROM YOU.
  2. Stop talking and listen. “…he that hath an ear let him hear…” Two minutes into a person’s conversation and they will tell you what they need. But you don’t listen! I always make a mental note or write down what people say they need. I try to meet their needs.
  3. You must begin today.

Friends, I would like you to have a life of excitement and happiness. But the secret of happiness is up to you!

Mrs. Crystal Thompson

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