To encourage someone is a great, and proper thing. The root meaning of the word has to do with imparting strength to the heart — strengthening someone’s inner man or attitude or resolve so that they might persevere in a course or with a task.
In his book UNFASHIONABLE, Making A Difference in the Word by Being Different, Tullian Tchividijian speaks about encouragement:
What is encouragement? We know it’s something we all yearn for. We all know how an encouraging word from someone can carry us for weeks, months, even years. Why is that? And what is encouragement really all about?
There’s a counterfeit type of encouragement; and a genuine type of encouragement. The counterfeit type is what the Bible calls FLATTERY. It’s selfish smooth talk. The person who offers it does so for selfish reasons (If I tell this person something nice, he’ll do for me what I want him to do.) But true encouragement is different. Understood biblically, real encouragement is the verbal affirmation of someone’s strength, giftedness, or accomplishment, along with the realization that God the Creator is the ultimate source behind whatever’s being affirmed.
Considering the command of Ephesians 4:29, we all must aim at giving more encouragement:
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.