Share the Wealth of Adoration
There is power in loving and encouraging others
by Joanne Troppello
“Correction does much, but encouragement does more.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Encouragement is powerful. I’ve seen its power in my own marriage. I first learned about the power of encouragement when I read The Language of Love by Dr. Gary Smalley. This book won the Angel Award for the best contribution to family life.
Dr. Smalley had come to our church 15 years ago after my husband and I were married for only one year. We went to the seminar based on his newest book at that time, The DNA of Relationships. I bought several of his books that day and started to devour them. Gary Smalley passed away in 2016, but his legacy lives on with the Smalley Institute where you can find help in building better relationships.
I even stopped writing my novel during my lunch hour at work since I felt like God wanted me to read through all six of Dr. Smalley’s books and apply what I learned to my marriage.
I learned that my love language is quality time and I show love to others through acts of service and encouragement. My husband’s love language is physical touch and encouragement. He shows love by serving others.
Through the years, we’ve had some issues since he didn’t always look at me when I needed those few minutes of quality time for him to actually hear what I was saying. I am not one who likes hugs and PDA’s and had to meet my husband half-way with this like he had to meet me with quality time.
Encouragement was a huge part of how I worked on my marriage through the years. I’ve written love notes to my husband every day and left them near his phone where he’d see them daily. It was my effort to feed his love language of encouragement.
I admit, sometimes I recycled notes since he would put the note on my desk after he read it—his way of saying the same sentiments in my note since he isn’t big on writing notes.
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” — Leo Buscaglia
Our world is experiencing surreal and heartbreaking circumstances. With the coronavirus pandemic and living in quarantine life, many of us have experienced tough times, isolation, and discouragement.
With the death of George Floyd and ensuing protests and riots, we’re living in trying times. My heart breaks for his death, his family’s grief, and the pain of the protestors.
The negativity of the 24 hour news cycle and scrolling through social media feeds can impact your life and bring you deeper into despair. When George Floyd was killed, my family and I were on vacation in the Blude Ridge Mountains in NC. We all decided to fast from social media and the news. It was extremely relaxing and a powerful bonding time with our family.
However, on the drive home, I checked my Twitter account and heard the horrible news. My heart broke. I couldn’t believe it happened again. I still support the police, but I hate the racism of a few among the ranks.
“The world is waiting for you to wake up to the person you are called to be. Stop listening to the negative inner conversation that’s causing you to play. Focus your mind on positive thoughts, possibilities, and solutions that can move you forward. Tap into your creativity and determination and stay busy. Stay focused.” — Les Brown
I saw this Les Brown quote today when working on this article and it truly resonated with me. I believe we can unite as a country when we turn back to the Lord and focus on loving others, not hating and returning violence for violence.
I cannot begin to understand everything that George Floyd’s family and protestors are going through and live with each day. However, I can “wake up to the person I am called to be” and embrace who God made me—and how I can encourage others each day.
I understand that those two words are very loaded. Choose kindness. However, what if someone hurts me or does bad things? Do I still need to be kind?
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:43-48, NKJV)
As a Christian, we need to choose love all the time. God will be our defender. This is a difficult thing to live out—especially with all the violence and unrest that our country is experiencing today.
I don’t have all the answers. I don’t think anyone does. However, I know that God is still in control. It may not always seem that way, but I trust that He still has a plan. He was not surprised that all these events would occur in 2020.
“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14)
With God’s help, I will seek peace and pursue it whenever possible. I trust that God will defend me and my property. I will not fear knowing I live 38 miles from a major city that has experienced violent riots, 16 miles from a major mall that had sections looted and destroyed, and 8 miles from a town with protests rising. I will rely on the Holy Spirit to help me love as God loves. What will you do?
Previously published in Medium.
About the Author
Joanne Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel.