Why does it seem so hard to encourage others? We often find ourselves criticizing people for what we think they should have done rather than encouraging them for what they have been doing. The book of Acts tells us that the first-century believers had “all things in common” but also that they “sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.” (Acts 2:45). Encouragers are busy performing while critics are busy pretending. One who encourages others sees a need and attempts to meet that need at their own expense. Not seeking recognition, they simply want to minister to the needs of others. The question that leaves us with is, “How do we perform when all around us are pretending? We need to have our eye on the master not the servants. 1 Peter 4:10 reminds us, “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” We must remember that we own nothing but are stewards of everything that we have. Giving is not a matter of doing without; Giving is a matter of stewardship of the things given to us by the Lord. Time, words, and actions are critical in our giving, because it is harder to give of ourselves, than to give of our money. Yet we are reminded in 2 Corinthians 9:7 “Every man according as he purposed in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” Being an encourager is a mindset, that chooses to be used by the Lord to build up others. Begin making that choice this morning.