I am a grammar geek, I admit it. I love words. Maybe that's why today during my run my mind wandered into the area of words, specifically the word "encourage."
I have always considered that one of my main purposes in life is to encourage, but I also figured it was one of those "also ran" kind of callings. Everyone likes to be encouraged, but it's not one of those amazing talents like teaching or preaching or singing. It's just, well...encouragement. That is, until I thought about it today.
The word "encourage" is made up of the word "courage" and the prefix "en". (Didn't know you were going to get an English lesson today, did you!) The word courage is a noun that means the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery. There are few things I can think of that we need today more than courage.
The prefix "en" means to cause (a person or thing) to be in "the place, condition or state named by the stem." It can also mean "to cause to be in," or "on all sides, completely" as in enclose. So when you add the prefix "en" to the word "courage," you are saying "to be in the place or state of courage; to cause to be in courage; and to be on all sides, completely surrounded by courage." I'm beginning to think encouraging others is pretty important!
There's a lot of verses about courage and encouragement in the Bible. Here's just a few: