The Power of Applause
"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."1
Besides wishing each other a very Happy New Year, may we all make a New Year resolution to be more effective encouragers of each other—and especially so of our loved ones.
Dr. Ernest Mellor wrote how he and his wife, "Sat charmed at an outdoor performance by young Suzuki violin students. After the concert, an instructor spoke briefly on how children as young as two, three and four years old are taught to play violin. The first thing the children learn, he said, is a proper stance. And the second thing the children learn—even before they pick up the violin—is how to take a bow. 'If the children just play the violin and stop, people may forget to show their appreciation,' the instructor said. 'But when the children bow, the audience invariably applauds. And applause is the best motivator we've found to make children feel good about performing and want to do it well.'
"Adults love applause too. Being affirmed makes us feel wonderful. If you want to rekindle or keep the flame of love glowing in your marriage through the years, try showing and expressing your appreciation for your mate. Put some applause in your marriage and watch love grow."2
Meaningful applause—whether by hand clapping or with our words—is one the most effective and easiest ways to encourage one another. The word "encourage" comes from "en" meaning in, and "courage." It means to put courage into another—and that's something every one of us can do—so let's do it often from a sincere heart.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me always to applaud and encourage my loved ones and friends when such is well earned, not just as a means of ‘being outwardly nice’ or to flatter, but out of a genuine heart of appreciation. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV).
2. Dr. Ernest Mellor, in Homemade, November, 1984.