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Everybody needs encouragement. None of us achieves anything without help. The great achievers in history became all that they were because of the people in their lives.
We've seen The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings. But did you know that their authors, CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien, were professors at Oxford University and maintained a close friendship? Every week they'd meet to eat, talk about their fiction-writing endeavours and read passages of their yet unpublished works. It was Tolkien who encouraged Lewis, an avowed atheist, to explore Christianity, ultimately leading to his conversion. And it was Lewis who encouraged Tolkien to continue writing fiction and to seek publication. Were it not for their friendship and mutual encouragement, the world wouldn't have received the finest writing in apologetics of the twentieth century, nor one of the finest fantasy works ever written.
Everyone, young and old, successful and less-than-successful, famous and unknown who receives encouragement is changed by it. Mark Twain said, 'One compliment can keep me going for a whole month.' A word of encouragement from a teacher can change a child's life; a word of encouragement from a spouse can strengthen or even save a marriage; a word of encouragement from a leader can inspire a person to reach his or her potential. Zig Ziglar says, 'You never know when a moment and a few sincere words can have an impact on a life.' The Bible says, 'Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones' (Proverbs 16:24 NKJV).