I have a confession to make…I am a killer of plants. One reason might be because most plants come with the instructions, “water daily.” In the midst of trying to raise my three kids, I can’t seem to keep my herbs alive by watering them consistently.
I imagine most of us have daily tasks, daily reminders, or daily goals, but according to the Bible, what should we be doing daily? In the Old Testament, David, a man after God’s own heart, wrote, “Every day I will bless You, and I will praise Your name forever and ever” (Psalm 145:2 ESV). It was David’s desire, and it should be our desire as well, to bless and praise God every day.
You might be surprised that in the New Testament, something we are commanded to do on a daily basis is encourage each other. Hebrews 3:12-13 (NIV) says, “See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”
This passage in Hebrews is a command to encourage each other not just occasionally, but every day. God, as the Maker of our hearts, revealed something about them in this passage. Without encouragement, our hearts will become dry or “hardened” by sin.
The First Step
Before we can speak words of encouragement to others, our own hearts need to be encouraged. I think it is only out of the overflow of our own filled hearts that we can bless others with what we say.
I believe David had the right idea. If we start every day praising and blessing God, He will revive our hearts and fill them with His love. As a result, when we encounter others later in the day, loving words will spill out of our mouths and onto others. If we begin each day praising and thanking God, we can bless others with the encouragement we have received from our time with God. When we encourage others this way, our words won’t be flattery, but our words will be genuine and a blessing to those around us.
Consider my poor basil plant. I am on my third one in the last six months. If I forget to water the plant for a few days, the soil is dry and cracked. However, if I remember to water my plant every day, the soil stays wet and the leaves grow. When I am consistently watering my plant, the excess water will come out of the bottom of the pot, usually spilling onto my kitchen floor. On the contrary, if the soil is dry, there is no excess water.
Like a thirsty plant, when we don’t spend time with God, our hearts will become parched and “hardened.” When we don’t praise and thank God, we will have no excess with which to bless others. I have found that when I begin my day reading God’s Word and singing praise songs to Him, He gives me the motivation and ability to encourage others. When we invest time with God, our hearts will be filled and well-watered.
How to “Daily” Encourage Others
What are some practical ways we can encourage others?
One way to encourage your spouse I learned from my husband, Rob. I love to hear words of encouragement, but he often forgets. A few months ago, he decided to set a daily alarm on his phone to remind himself to tell me something encouraging. While this might not seem very romantic, I can say that I look forward to this daily blessing at 5:01 p.m. Perhaps this might work with your family or friends.
Other ideas include sending an encouraging text or email to a friend with a Bible verse in it. I know just hearing “praying for you” or “thinking about you today” can turn my day around. Another idea is to send a card or small gift in the mail. When meeting with someone, something we can pray is, “Lord, reveal to me what would be the most encouraging thing I can say to this person today.” I know from experience that God will often bring to light something to share.
I like to encourage others, but like my plants, I often forget to put daily effort into doing so. If you’re reading this, perhaps you can start a new habit with me. As God waters our hearts, we can use our words to bless those whose hearts may be dry or depressed today. Since today is still called today, let’s get to the encouraging right away!