When it comes to cheering people on, we tend to think in terms of coaches, cheerleaders, pep squads, and fans rooting for a favorite athletic team. But everyone needs encouragement. You and I need encouragement from others, and others need it from us. Consider, for example, the following scenario:
You wake up to a new day, filled with all the hope and promise of joy, accomplishment, and fulfillment. Why? Because you’ve been working long and hard on a really big project, and you’re almost done. You worked late the night before, came home late to catch a few hours of sleep, and then quickly showered this morning before going to work to present the results of your labors to your boss. You have poured your heart into this project, and you are finally satisfied that you had done your best.
But when you present your work to your boss, rather than thank you or give you any words of encouragement, your boss quickly glances at what you’ve done and dismisses you without even a comment. You know you’re expected to perform well for your job, but your boss’s lack of even a bit of appreciation for your hard work is devastating. Talk about sticking a pin in your balloon!
There are other scenarios that can bring discouragement your way as well. For example, keeping up with the care of a child who has a disability. Dealing with a parent whose health is rapidly declining. The threat of being laid off because of budget cuts within your company. Don’t tell me at times you couldn’t use a little encouragement!
Well, the same is true of your children. Even though the difficulties they face may be of a smaller scale, still, to them, their problems can seem overwhelming. When they are struggling, a hug or word of encouragement can go a long way toward giving them much-needed confidence and hope.