The Courage to Encourage
Courage. We are all gifted by God with some amount of it. We will never know how much we actually have until life puts us to the test. The problem is, when it's used up, it can have terrible consequences: PTSD, depression and certain medical issues, to name a few.
Once we find out that we have some, but don't know how much, how can we tell when it is about to run out? Just ask any parent who has ever lost a child, any person with a diagnosis of terminal cancer, any war veteran who has survived multiple engagements with an unrelenting enemy. They can tell you in graphic detail what that looks like.
So, if some people have copious amounts of courage and some have very little, how have we as a species survived? On just the amount of courage we have, or is something else at work here?
In Hebrews 13:5-6 it says: For he himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." So we may boldly say, "The Lord is my helper, I will not fear, what can man do to me.”
Well, man can try to discourage or “take courage away" from us, but if we were created by God to be in relation with each other then to discourage goes against the whole reason we are here.
Now, let's look at the other side of this subject. If the word discourage means to take away courage, than to encourage would be to give someone an amount of courage so they don't end up running out.
What a wonderful thought… And it will stay a thought until it becomes an action.
It has been said that “courage is not the absence of fear" but to be in so much fear that you finally stand up and say, "NO! That's not how this is going to end!" It is then that we start the hard work of climbing that hill, and courage is at the top. Not only does it take courage to use courage, it also takes an amount of it to encourage.
There is a quote that I love to repeat to myself when things get tough, it goes like this, “If you have lost money, you have lost nothing, if you have lost your sight, you have lost something, if you have lost hope, you have lost everything!”
I think we can also add courage to that last part!
Not only does it take courage to use courage, it also takes an amount of it to encourage.