Has this ever happened to you? You notice someone having a difficult time and believe they could use encouragement, but you don’t know what to do. I hope I’m not the only one who has had this experience.
To spite our feeling, we have nothing to offer, we do. We can make a difference. Here are some tips and ways to offer encouragement.
4 Tips to Remember
If you are struggling to offer encouragement, here are 4 tips to remember.
Like Jesus Does
We should approach people in the same manner as Jesus. Each time Jesus approaches an individual in the Gospels, he does so compassionately. He shows concern for the situation, and the person can tell he is understanding. We should attempt to approach those around us in the same way.
We know the value of encouragement, but we convince ourselves what we are going to do is not enough to help. However, every act of encouragement makes a difference. If 4 or 5 people encourage a person in small ways, it doesn’t take long before the person is standing on a mountain of encouragement.
The small things count. Smiling as you go through a cashier’s line, being positive with your waiter, and saying hi to someone as you pass in the grocery store counts. Sending a card or note to a friend who is struggling counts. Every act of encouragement counts in the sum.
Every Day Counts
As you and I go about our daily activities, it is inevitable we’ll meet someone needing encouragement. Make each day count.
Hebrews 3:13 reminds us to encourage one another daily. This verse reminds us to build each other up constantly. Discouragement never vacations, so we cannot afford to take a day off.
No One is Exempt
Everyone will need encouragement at some point. Discouragement knows how to sneak into everyone’s life, and it seems the Lord responds by placing people in our lives to encourage us, so we should always be ready to offer encouragement.
Satan’s Yard Sale
There is an old story told in which the Devil is having a yard sale. He’s ran out of room in his workshop, and he opens the doors to perspective buyers. The tools of worry, strife, anxiety and division were priced to move.
One buyer noticed a well-used, old tool lying on a corner shelf. As the man was looking at it, Satan said, “That tool is not for sale.”
“I’ll give you whatever you want for it,” the man replied, “just name your price.”
Again, the devil said, “It is not for sale.” Only this time, he offered an explanation. “All the tools for sale are useful. They help me sway people in my direction, but the tool you are holding is responsible for causing the most havoc. For people than my other tools combined.”
The man realized the label was worn and he could not read it, so he asked, “What tool is it?”
The devil answered, “It is discouragement. I could never part with it. I would give up all my other tools, but never this tool of discouragement.”
10 Ways to Offer Encouragement
It is important for us to receive encouragement, so here are 10 ways to offer encouragement.
- Smile at a cashier as you go through his or her line.
- Tip a waiter who is obviously having a bad day
- Greet a person as you pass in the store.
- Send a card or note.
- Provide a meal to a friend you know is ill.
- Tell a coworker “Good job.”
- Pay for the person behind you in the coffee shop line.
- Give a small gift.
- Offer to pray for a friend.
- Share your favorite passage of Scripture with a neighbor.
Offer encouragement to a coworker, friend, or neighbor in the next few days. Share your experience in the comments below. What ways do you offer encouragement? Share in the comments. Know someone who would find this post helpful? Please share it.