Hebrews 3:13 is speaking to Christians when it declares, “Encourage one another daily,” and 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.”
The Greek verb translated as “encourage” is parakaleo, which means to call to a person. It comes from para (to the side) and kaleo (to call). The biblical word picture of an encourager is someone who stands by your side and calls you to move forward. A true encourager doesn’t push or poke you from behind; they stand with you, and then walk at your side as you move forward to a better place.
God the Holy Spirit is the original Encourager. John refers to the Holy Spirit as the parakletos in John 14:16 which is translated as “Comforter” in the NIV and “Helper” in the NAS.
As the Holy Spirit encourages you, you are called to encourage others.
Consider the example of Barnabas. His birth name was Joseph, but in Acts 4:36 the apostles gave him the nickname of “Barnabas which means Son of Encouragement.” Barnabas’ peer group recognized his gift for encouraging others and later, in Acts 9, it is Barnabas who first supports Paul, the new convert, by introducing him to the other apostles.
Acts 9:26-27 [insertion mine] reads:
When he [Paul] came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. (Emphasis added)
Barnabas took and told. His encouragement of Paul involved personal action (the took), as well as, supportive words (the told). Barnabas, the Son of Encouragement, was there to help Paul at the precise time Paul needed to be helped.
Just as the Holy Spirit is The Helper, you are a helper. You can energize and inspire others with your actions and words.
Paul went on to do great things for the Lord, as did Barnabas. Acts 11:24 describes Barnabas’ legacy this way:
He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.
Look for opportunities to encourage your co-workers with your supportive words and personal actions. This is an important part of your ministry in the workplace.