I've heard a lot of people speak on the subject of encouragement but I've not seen anyone come close to these guys on nailing the subject, particularly when it comes to using words to encourage. They do a great job of identifying the obstacles that keep people from encouraging and being encouraged. Here's are two big takeaways for me.
"Words that encourage are 1) inspired by love, and 2) directed towards fear."Then Proverbs 25:20 really stood out to me. Your attempt to encourage someone may be pointless if your attempt does not specifically address the other person's fears.
Whoever sings songs to a heavy heart
is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day,
and like vinegar on soda.