WANTED: Encouraging person. Education required: None. Experience needed: None. Qualifications: Must sense hidden needs; must love without expectations and be able to encourage. Flatterers need not apply. Do you know someone that could qualify for this position? A friend that genuinely cares, whose words are uplifting and not judgmental, whose very presence is a great encouragement to you. You’re very fortunate if you do. Encouragement is just plain refreshing in a world of constant discouragement and depressing news. Our world needs Christians who are involved in the spiritual ministry of encouragement. Perhaps you would like to apply for this position? What kind of character qualities does it require? If we asked the apostle Paul, he would describe the qualities of his dear friend, Onesiphorus. This man was like a cool cloth on a burning wounded spirit. Let's take a quick look at the qualities of an encourager:
An encourager seeks out a person in need. They refresh people not just when it's convenient, but often at a great personal cost. Building relationships are so important for each of us. Yes, they're time-consuming, labor intensive, and emotionally draining, but worthwhile.
They refresh by their presence. They show up when others stay away. Going to be with someone at their time of need speaks volumes.
They refresh by their acceptance. Onesiphorus wasn't ashamed of Paul's condition.
They refresh by their positive attitude. We don't need to ignore reality, but it's important to not come under a dark, negative cloud.
When we refresh other believers, we are actually refreshing Christ Himself. Jesus said, “What you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for Me.” (Matt. 25:40) Be an Onesiphorus – refresh people! Press on! Pastor Brian Richard