Keller: Encouragement drives positive influence

Published 12:01 am Saturday, April 25, 2015

Encourage and discourage are two of the most powerful words in any relationship.

Either one can make or break a person’s desire to achieve what God had intended in their lives.

When we encourage someone, we give them courage, hope or confidence to be successful in anything they do.

Discouragement deprives that person of courage, hope or confidence.

I’m sure most people have heard the old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me.”

I believe that 100 percent of the people who have been verbally abused will disagree with that statement. Emotional wounds sometimes never heal.

Children are the victims of most discouragement.

As I look back, I realize that I was guilty of not being the encourager that God intended me to be for my wife and four children.

Did I discourage them? I don’t know if they will admit it, but I did.

After my children grew up, I read a book by Zig Ziglar titled Raising Positive Kids in a Negative World. It convinced me of how many mistakes I made with my family.

Today, I realize that a sense of self-worth is often based on the positive or negative reaction of those around them. I haven’t made as many mistakes with my grandchildren.

Now I’m more focused on being a positive influence to others.

I have to remind myself to overlook flaws that could otherwise be destructive and love unconditionally.

I’m still a work in progress.

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