After reading the book of Job, I learned some things about how NOT to encourage others. As you probably know, Job’s friends were not encouraging! They made things worse! Here are some things we can do to encourage someone.
1. Listen. Listening is better than talking.
We need to give the person we want to encourage focused attention. That means we are carefully listening to them, not just waiting for our turn to talk. (Ouch!)
Having someone listen is the best medicine for a hurting heart. The thing your friend needs most may not be answers, but someone to talk to and share their hurts or worries with.
2. Provide affirmation.
3. Be compassionate and caring.
4. Do not pretend to know what they are going through or tell them what happened to you.
5. You might provide support by writing them an encouraging note.
6. Pray for them.
Maybe the Holy Spirit will lead you to pray in a certain way. Or maybe He will guide you in what to say. Or maybe He just wants you to show love and compassion. If your friend wants your advice, she will probably ask for it.
“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us… if it is to encourage, then give encouragement;” Romans 12:6,8 (Emphasis mine)
For some being an encourager is a spiritual gift, but it is something we must all do. Let the Lord guide you to those who need your encouragement.
I can’t tell you how many times a comment someone left me on my blog turned my day around. Many times, the Holy Spirit is encouraging me through their message, but they probably had no idea how timely it was. In fact, this happens quite often.
“encourage the disheartened” 1 Thessalonians 5:14
Disheartened means to be discouraged. Do you know someone who is discouraged? You can encourage them.
The definition of encouragement is: “The act of inspiring others with renewed courage, a renewed spirit, or renewed hope.”
When I was a special education teacher, it was obvious to me that all my students needed encouragement. But children with special needs aren’t the only ones who need encouragement. Look around. People who need encouragement are all around you. Ask God to help you and reach out.
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
Note: I have learned a lot about encouragement from David Jeremiah’s book, The Joy of Encouragement. I think you would, too.
In His Love, Cindy
Do you want to know more about Jesus? See my page Who Is Jesus?
All Scripture references are from the NIV unless otherwise noted.
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash