• Topic > Relationships > Encouragement >

    A Rewarding Investment

    “Though mentoring is not a biblical word, it is a way of life,” wrote author Andi Ashworth. “In essence, mentoring is showing and telling, a lifestyle of receiving God’s gifts, learning to know, love, and live what is good, and passing on that knowledge to others.”

    A Blessing Bowl

    The familiar bing of an arriving email caught my attention while I wrote at my computer. Usually I try to resist the temptation to check every email but the subject line was too enticing: “You are a blessing.”

    Eagerly, I opened it to discover a faraway friend telling me she was praying for my family. Each week, she displays one Christmas card photo in her kitchen table “Blessing Bowl” and prays for that family. She wrote, “I thank God every time I remember you” (Philippians 1:3) and then highlighted our efforts to share God’s love with others—our “partnership” in the gospel.

    Through…

    How to Change a Life

    Sometimes our lives can change in a moment through the powerful impact of others. For rock ‘n’ roll legend Bruce Springsteen, it was the work of musical artists that helped him through a difficult childhood and a persistent struggle with depression. He found meaning in his own work through the truth he’d experienced firsthand, that “You can change someone’s life in three minutes with the right song.”

    Like a compelling song, others’ well-chosen words can also give us hope, even change the course of our lives. I’m sure most of us could share stories of a conversation that forever impacted our…

    Everyday Moments

    I piled groceries in my car and carefully exited my parking spot. Suddenly a man darted across the pavement just in front of me, not noticing my approach. I slammed on my brakes, just missing him. Startled, he looked up and met my gaze. In that moment, I knew I had a choice: respond with rolled-eye frustration or offer a smiling forgiveness. I smiled.

    Relief flickered across his face, raising the edges of his own lips in gratefulness.

    Proverbs 15:13 says, “A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.” Is the writer directing us to cheery grins in…

    Persisting in Doing Good

    When people were engaged in a political spat on my friend’s Facebook page, my friend decided to turn the debate into something uplifting by suggesting that everyone who commented make a donation to the Uganda-based ministry I direct. What began as a contentious debate transformed into a collective act of generosity. In the process, hearts softened and—though political differences remained—those involved began speaking more kindly to one another.

    “John Mark . . . and Company”

    Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. We’ve heard these names so many times and it’s easy to forget that they were real people. Today on Discover the Word, we invite you to get to know John Mark, the man God used to write the second gospel. What can we learn about him from the company he kept? […]

    Let’s Finish the Race

    In the 2016 Rio Olympics, two athletes in the 5,000 meters race caught the world’s attention. About 3,200 meters into the race, New Zealander Nikki Hamblin and American Abbey D’Agostino collided and fell. Abbey was quickly up on her feet, but stopped to help Nikki. Moments after the two athletes had started running again, Abbey began faltering, her right leg injured as a result of the fall. It was now Nikki’s turn to stop and encourage her fellow athlete to finish the race. When Abbey eventually stumbled across the finish line, Nikki was waiting to embrace her. What a beautiful…

    Discover the remarkable way God attends to our pain

    God sees every tear that falls. Not one of them escapes His attention! So why do we try to hold back from crying? Today the Discover the Word team gathers around the table to talk about the remarkable ways God attends to our pain even when we don’t see it! Grab a seat in that […]

    Don’t Run Alone

    My husband Jack was on mile 25 out of 26 when his strength failed him.

    This was his first marathon, and he was running alone. After stopping for a drink of water at an aid station, he felt exhausted and sat down on the grass beside the course. Minutes passed, and he couldn’t get up. He had resigned himself to quitting the race when two middle-aged schoolteachers from Kentucky came by. Although they were strangers, they noticed Jack and asked if he wanted to run with them. Suddenly, he found his strength restored. Jack stood and accompanied by the two women…

    Sharing a Cup of Comfort

    A friend mailed me some of her homemade pottery. Upon opening the box, I discovered the precious items had been damaged during their journey. One of the cups had shattered into a few large pieces, a jumble of shards, and clumps of clay dust.

    After my husband glued the broken mess back together, I displayed the beautifully blemished cup on a shelf. Like that pieced-together pottery, I have scars that prove I can still stand strong after the difficult times God’s brought me through. That cup of comfort reminds me that sharing how the Lord has worked in and through my…

    Reason to Smile

    In the workplace, words of encouragement matter. How employees talk to one another has a bearing on customer satisfaction, company profits, and co-worker appreciation. Studies show that members of the most effective work groups give one another six times more affirmation than disapproval, disagreement, or sarcasm. Least productive teams tend to use almost three negative comments for every helpful word.

    Paul learned by experience about the value of words in shaping relationships and outcomes. Before meeting Christ on the road to Damascus, his words and actions terrorized followers of Jesus. But by the time he wrote his letter to the Thessalonians,…

    Bubbles

    Sarah sometimes wonders if she only believes in Jesus because she’s surrounded by family and friends who also do. She asked, “Am I a Christian because it’s true or because I live in a Christian bubble?”

    Encouraging Leaders

    A pastor friend told my husband and me that he’s considering leaving the ministry because he feels as if his efforts haven’t resulted in heart change for any of his congregants—that their priorities remained out of step with God’s. After my husband and I prayed for him, he told us that we had encouraged him. Even so, I’m not confident that he’ll remain in fulltime pastoral ministry.