The Happy Hound of Encouragement


Have you ever been encouraged by someone? I mean, really encouraged?

I have.

Encouragement is like being charged by a big, bounding, bright-eyed, tail-wagging Great Dane, who is so overjoyed to see you that he knocks you right over and licks your face while you’re lying flat on you back. Your dog just sent you a message. With his whole heart and with every muscle in his body, he just said to you, “I’m so glad you’re home!”

That’s what receiving encouragement feels like. But what does it look like?

We encourage someone when we look right into the heart of another person–with the eyes of God—and confidently declare the truth about what we see. We may be affirming who they already are. We may be confirming who they are destined to become. We may be proclaiming something they are appointed to do.

This is who you are.

This is who you are becoming.

This is what you are going to do.

When we give the gift of encouragement, we give to others a beautiful vision of God’s promises fulfilled in their lives.

There are times when I’ve been troubled by doubts and uncertainty. Does God really have plans to prosper me? Is He really working all things for my good? Is the vision I have for the future just a pipe dream?  Is the vessel of my life headed for shipwreck?  At times like these, I don’t realize how much I need encouragement until just after that big hound knocks me over.

Everybody needs encouragement. And everybody can give it.  So, let’s keep looking for opportunities to release that gift of a bounding, tail-wagging, face-licking word of encouragement–a word that first knocks them off their feet, and then sets them firmly on their feet.

Let’s be attentive to God, so we don’t miss His signal:

“Release the hound.”

Are you hearing the signal?

11 thoughts on “The Happy Hound of Encouragement

  1. Hi Dave,
    Today’s post on encouragement has prompted me to respond with words of encouragement to you.
    What God-given gifts you have! Talent to express your topics visually with drawings, and verbally through written words that are thought-provoking.
    I would encourage you (and you have probably already considered this) to put these mini-compositions into a book of ‘daily readings’.
    Thanks for your continued faithfulness as a husband, father, and soon-to-be published author!

  2. Uncle Dave,
    YOU and your FAMILY have been hounds of encouragement to myself and my family of the past weeks and months. I feel like as I am encouraged, I am then able to encourage others in a way that honors God. Thank you SO much for sharing your wisdom, yet again!

  3. “Release the hound.”
    Or another way of saying it … or singing it … is “Who let the dogs out?”
    Oh, yes, I went there.
    I shared this post with my Caboose Kiddo, who is 12. She loved the cartoon Hound Dog … you put a smile on her face as she headed to school.
    Encouragement without words.
    Encouragement is a priceless commodity.
    I say, “The more, the merrier we all will be.”

  4. This was a super post, Dave. Encouragement truly is one of the most meaningful gifts we can give another. I find my children blossom with a few well placed words of encouragement. I’m going to be listening for my signal. Thank you!

    • I appreciate your comments, Jeanne. And thanks for focusing some of the attention in this discussion upon children, and for reminding me that “a few well placed words” go a long way in helping our kids to flourish.

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