1 Thessalonians 5:11 – Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing.

Our summer has been full of baseball, softball, the county fair and a few other things.

Our 11-year-old grandson, Dylan, LOVES baseball. He played on a league team within our community and was selected for the traveling team. Basically, this means he has baseball nearly every weekend in June and July.

As the school year was winding down at the beginning of summer, the high school baseball team visited Dylan and his teammates. It is so cool when these older kids, who the younger kids aspire to be, spend a little time with these young kids. Hopefully, the high school kids remember who they were as a younger baseball player. And how much contact with an older player felt so cool.

After this little get together, Dylan shared with his Grandpa, who I call Hubby Rick, that one of the high school players encouraged him to bat 100 balls a day. If he wanted to become a better hitter, this was his suggestion for improving.

One hundred hits per day. Honestly, I’m not sure if Dylan has accomplished this every day since then. But I am confident that he has intentionally hit a lot more balls than he had been. I know this because he talked Grandpa into buying him some more balls for practice. (Smart kid, eh??!!)

While Dylan has yet to hit his first ball out of the park during a game, he has definitely learned more of the art of hitting. He knows how to twist his hands to drive it towards right field and left field. He is aware of hitting behind the ball or in front of the ball makes a difference. He and Grandpa have had discussions about how the location of where the ball hits the bat changes the hit. Basically, Dylan has discovered there is a lot more in getting the ball hit where you want it to go than just swinging a bat.

I would say a lot of this train of thought started because a high school player encouraged him to hit 100 balls per night.

Yes, he’s at the age where discovering more about the game is natural. As his skills improve, he wants to learn more about the technical aspects of the game. A few times this year, another kid on his team has hit a home run. We love watching the team empty the dugout and high five and cheer the hitter after he crosses homeplace. Seeing teammates hit homeruns encourages the rest of the team to want to do this as well.

I wonder if the high school player who encouraged Dylan has any clue how his words and suggestions have made a difference in how Dylan approaches the game. He has taken to heart what the older player told him and it is making a difference in his game. When another team player received one-on-one batting practice from one of the coaches, Dylan wondered aloud to us when he might get this encouragement and private attention from one of the coaches. He’s looking for that little extra time so his batting can improve as well.

Do you see how one person’s encouragement has made a difference in Dylan’s hitting? AND how he’s looking for this additional encouragement from a coach in a one-on-one session as his next step in becoming a better batter?

As adults, we are really no different. We relish when someone encourages and take the extra few minutes to learn a new skill. Likewise, there are times when we yearn for this little extra oomph and do not receive it. How just a little one-on-one time with the right person can certainly be the encouragement we need.

Encouragement goes both ways. WE need to hear it, much like Dylan. WE also need to extend and share it with others around us. A bit of encouragement from us to someone else may make a significant difference to them. Withholding it from someone can slow down their natural development. Sharing encouragement, ideas, thoughts, and information can really make a difference in our daily lives.

Think about a person who, like the high school baseball player, encouraged you. How did this make you feel? Did their words inspire you? Were you motivated to do something differently because someone took the time to encourage you?

If we were honest, we would admit that encouraging words make a difference in our lives. There have certainly been times when I yearned for someone to encourage me. Take me under his or her wing and help me learn and develop. At times, I have felt and heard others say that they do not want to encourage someone because they are yearning for it in their lives.

Rather than holding back encouragement, here’s what I think: encourage other because you can. Your model of sharing this with others may eventually encourage someone to speak meaningful words to you. Withholding encouragement not only hurts you. It also holds someone back from becoming the person you can help them become.

Baseball wound up for Dylan’s team over the weekend. They came in second place at their last tournament. How did the kids respond? The coaches? Parents and grandparents? I pray they lead with encouraging words of what they accomplished this season, how they grew as individual players, and how their skills improved.

We all need “at-a-boy’s” and “at-a-girls” freely extended our ways. God expects us to do this with each other. These words of encouragement should not be reserved for special reasons or seasons. They should be so much a part of our daily lives that we embrace opportunities regularly to encourage someone else.

This is what Jesus did. He stood with the people no one else wanted to … and encouraged them. When the disciples made mistakes, he didn’t chastise them. He encouraged them. As he is dying on the cross, his last words are spoken to encourage those at the foot of the cross. And they did.

How can you encourage someone this day? Or week? Throughout the month? I encourage YOU to become or continue to be a person who encourages people daily. Regularly. Because you can and because you want to. You might be amazed when encouragement comes back your way.

For the reminder to be encouraging to others, I am very grateful.

Blessings –


Holy God – Thank you for being such an encouragement in my life. Thank you for bringing various people into my life who encouraged me. May I choose to be an encourager to those around me. Amen.

Here are other blogs about encouragement:

4 Ways to Encourage Yourself in the Lord by Sharla Hallett


Encouragement to Bloom by Lisa Crowder


When Encouragement Feels Bad by Amy Cobb


How Can Parents Encourage Emotional Development? By Ashley Olivine


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