4 Bible Verses to Help You Be a Better Encourager

Scripture guides us in building each other up in Christ

Are you an encourager?

You can probably remember significant times when someone encouraged you. Maybe a friend encouraged you during a stressful college or job application process. Maybe a pastor came and spoke words of encouragement after the loss of a family member. Or maybe a spouse, child, or friend is your constant encourager through all of life’s ups and downs.

The Bible has a lot to say about encouragement. But it isn’t just an interesting topic or a plot point in one of Scripture’s many stories. Encouragement is built into our faith. We are instructed to encourage and help one another in Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:9–11). Our speech is to be an encouragement to those who hear us (Ephesians 4:29). And throughout Scripture, we see examples of people using God’s own promises to encourage one another in times of difficulty, distress, or grief.

The Bible is our best guide when it comes to learning how to share genuine encouragement. Through God’s Word, we can help one another to grow in faith and love. Here are four verses that can point you toward key traits of a true encourager!

4 Bible Verses to Help You Be a Better Encourager

An encourager tells the truth.

Sometimes you might feel tempted to sidestep the truth in favor of cheering someone up. “It’s not that bad!” you say. “Don’t even worry about it.” But Scripture says that our commitment to telling the truth reflects our opinion about God. Do we think God knows best? We may need to encourage a friend to do something difficult for Christ’s sake. Or God may sometimes call us to encourage someone to abandon a sinful habit that is hurting them. In those situations, we can be dishonest and offer empty encouragement—or we can embrace the truth and encourage our friends and family to do the same! God’s truth is always the best encouragement you can offer.

Be honest and you show that you have reverence for the LORD;
be dishonest and you show that you do not.

Proverbs 14:2 GNT

An encourager speaks with love.

Scripture tells us that part of growing to be more like Christ involves learning how to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:12–15). As encouragers, as people of God, our words should always reflect God’s love—even when we need to share difficult truths. When we speak with love, our words go beyond superficial niceties. Instead, God uses our encouraging words to show his own abundant care to our friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors.

You are the people of God; he loved you and chose you for his own. So then, you must clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Be tolerant with one another and forgive one another whenever any of you has a complaint against someone else. You must forgive one another just as the Lord has forgiven you. And to all these qualities add love, which binds all things together in perfect unity.

Colossians 3:12–14 GNT

An encourager points to God’s promises.

Without God’s promises, even our most truthful, loving encouragement would still be empty words. As encouragers, we should always be pointing each other back to what God says in his Word. From our human perspectives, it can be hard to see light at the end of the tunnel. Some situations feel hopeless. And sometimes we can’t even think of anything encouraging to say. But when we open the Bible and speak God’s promises, we offer encouragement that brings true and lasting comfort. Suffering is painful, but even in our darkest moments, we can remind each other that God’s plans for us are always good.

“I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for. Then you will call to me. You will come and pray to me, and I will answer you. You will seek me, and you will find me because you will seek me with all your heart. Yes, I say, you will find me, and I will restore you to your land. I will gather you from every country and from every place to which I have scattered you, and I will bring you back to the land from which I had sent you away into exile. I, the LORD, have spoken.”

Jeremiah 29:11–14 GNT

An encourager imitates Christ.

Ultimately, our call to encourage each other echoes Jesus’s role as our greatest encourager. Throughout the Gospel accounts, we see our Savior offer words of encouragement to combat fear, shame, and doubt. Jesus tells the truth, but he also speaks with perfect love. Paul tells us that not only does Jesus point to God’s promises—he is the fulfilment of God’s promises (2 Corinthians 1:19–20)! He has already won the victory for us and he continues to encourage us as we walk through life’s mountains and valleys. This is the good news that we can use to encourage others!

“I have told you this so that you will have peace by being united to me. The world will make you suffer. But be brave! I have defeated the world!”

John 16:33 GNT

We hope this brief reflection on encouragement blessed your day! Here are three more free resources to encourage you in your faith:

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