I work out almost every week day at the gym. Twice a week I attend a class called Body Pump that uses a bar with weights to provide a solid workout for all parts of the body. As I've experienced different instructors, I realized something important about how encouragement works, even at the gym.
One instructor gives no feedback during the class. She simply describes the mechanics of what we need to do during any given set. But another one constantly watches us and shouts out positive statements like, "You guys are awesome, you look great!" or "Just one more set, I know you can do it!" At 5:00 AM, I can tell you the difference in the response from the group is remarkable. Everyone seems to be more energized by the second instructor, and I certainly enjoy my workout more when she leads the class.
That experience shows what a difference encouragement makes. We all have opportunities to offer encouragement throughout the day. And you never know what impact you might have on someone else. A word of encouragement you give today can live in another's heart for a lifetime.