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Why Encouragement Matters So Much

How a few words of support can make all the difference in a day—or a life

The power of encouragement
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A video of a tearful young man bursting with joy, pride and gratitude during his drive-thru high school graduation recently went viral. Dontrail Spencer of Nashville was filmed leaning out the passenger window, clutching his diploma and screaming out the names of his teachers and administrators who waved to him from the sidewalk and who had helped him along the way. 

“I graduated!” he shouted exuberantly from the car as he slowly passed them. “I graduated!” Dontrail crossed the finished line of his high school education because he had people in his corner encouraging him to keep his eyes on the prize and to push through the hard days.

None of us can get through life without encouragement—especially from a parent, best friend, schoolteacher, counselor or spiritual leader. Their support keeps us going and believing in ourselves. When someone gives you encouragement, you are given the courage to do something important. You are made stronger.

Even pastors like myself need words of encouragement. Back in March, I was in my fifth week as the transitional pastor for a Florida church when the pandemic forced us to close the building for worship. With social distancing, it’s been difficult to build relationships with many of the church members. 

I don’t remember meeting Grace, a member who had been very sick and in the hospital. But one morning I received an email from her:   

Hi Pastor Pablo, 
Thank you and all involved for keeping our church moving forward. It makes me sad that our building a relationship (even if it is interim) has been so limited. I truly do find you inspirational. And I enjoy your Wednesday prayers! I am thankful for my church family. I am grateful to be a child of God! Love, Grace 

A few days later I received a call that she had gone home to be with the Lord. Grace was nearing the end of her life, but she took time to encourage me. Every time I read her email, I’m blessed by her words. When we encourage one another—everybody wins. Be generous in your encouragement. We all need it. Some now more than ever. 

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