A culture of gratitude is crucial, yet a culture of encouragement is transformational. There are times when we need to step out of the spotlight and allow others to participate.
How do we recognize when our egos take over, when we expect credit for the wrong reasons? Sometimes we stretch ourselves too thin, trying to please and satisfy and delight and achieve.
In John’s gospel, he uses the Greek word paracletos to describe the Holy Spirit, which can be translated as “advocate,” one who offers encouragement – or to get at its most basic meaning – one who comes alongside us. The Holy Spirit walks with us as our helper, supporter, and inspirer.
And when we come alongside each other with encouragement, we are living out the Holy Spirit’s invitation. Rather than demanding gratitude and praise for our tasks, we search for ways to recognize others and embolden them to live out their gifts for ministry and for life. When we do that, we’re living out the Holy Spirit’s very being.
This message is excerpted from “Inspired to be encouragers” by Jennifer Hackbarth in the January/February 2016 Gather magazine.
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