So we continue our study with how to build others up how to be an encourager.  Next we talk about what some people think, is the main way, they build one  another up, and that is to encourage change. II Peter 3:18, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, to Him be glory, both now and forever. I don't know about you, but it is difficult to take someone's advice, if it's  unsolicited. And yet, there are times when we need to encourage one another to grow. But this often can be very dangerous. When you tell someone, but grow,  you need to change, hey, how about getting your devotional life together? Often  people don't take it as encouragement. They take it as criticism. And I've often  reflected on that. Why? Why do we take encouragement, often as criticism? At  one level, we can have a psychological answer to that, well, people have low  self esteem, and they just can't handle the encouragement or the truth. Another  reason is their spiritual warfare. A lot of times the very thing that someone needs to be encouraged about is the very thing that the devil has convinced them that  no one can speak into their life. A lot of times when we give encouragement, it's  often in the wrong timing, or in the wrong place, or we give it sort of like, we're  so good, and we have got it. And now we're going to give it to you. And you  should take this from us because we have our life together. These are all very  difficult and complicated things in the people smart class here at Christian  leaders Institute and college, we deal with a lot of those types of how to share I  know in the class that Professor all of the good teachers, and management with  the book of Philemon, these are some sensitive areas, how do you lead or  manage into change when you see what needs to happen? And how do you  communicate that. So let's look at the slide again, encourage change in a good  way, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord. I find it interesting that it's growing in the grace in knowledge. So when you encourage change, think of it  as changing, imperfect people growing. But be very careful when you share that, that you yourself understand that change is difficult for you. So some of the  people spot things would be to have conversations that talk about problems, not  necessarily related to specifically them or them alone. I'll give you the example.  So my wife and I try to encourage one another to exercise. Well, I will tell you  right now that when we talk about our goals, our goals, and I then asked her for  permission to what do you want from me dear on some of those goals? When  she lets me know how she wants me to encourage her. Then when I encourage  her, she ran away smiling. Oh, yeah, okay, I gotta get out there and exercise  more, and vice versa. So one of the things to do when you encourage change,  is to talk about our common walks, our common struggles, and made clear that  you have common struggles too, but then ask permission. And if someone gives permission, even then be very gracious. I remember in Galatians, the last  chapter of Galatians 6, it talks about if someone is caught in a sin, you who are  spiritual, are to restore them gently, but be careful, lest you fall. And I see that in  the early church, this dynamic was there. Now, this is a mini course. And we can

go deeper and deeper in this in the peoplesmart course if you'd like to take  formal training at Christian leaders Institute But know this, be very careful about  encouraging change, and get to know people, have a common rapport is a  difficult thing. In a lot of ways, God has a plan in people's lives. And if you go  back to praying for them and encouraging them eating together, a lot of times,  there's that moment when the Holy Spirit brings authentic willingness and  permission to encourage change in more strong and more intense ways. So as  we think about this, think about how tender and how gentle this kind of  encouragement ought to be, oh, one more thing on social media, to try to have  people change when they're not in a relationship with you is very difficult. And  this is what happens so much on social media, somebody gives their opinion,  and I've done it too. And you have this group of people that may follow you, but  they don't really know you. And when you say something that's to encourage  change, they take it as is so offensive, because they don't know your heart and  you have no active relationship with them. So when you encourage change in a  good way, is very much in a relationship, where positivity and grace and  common report live and are strong. So as we live as encouragers there are  some dicey and icy waters to get through, but by God's grace, I know that you  can do it 

Last modified: Monday, August 21, 2023, 9:29 AM