If I have learned anything in the past two years of living overseas it is that missionaries need daily encouragement. And not just missionaries. Every Christian needs to be told that they are loved, appreciated, and have value on a regular basis. My family and I are so blessed to have such an encouraging support team that literally spans across the entire world. We are so thankful for their faithful commitment to praying for us and sending words of encouragement. They have helped us through some of our most difficult days. Today I wanted to provide you with three ways to encourage others better based on what we have personally experienced. I hope they bless you.
1. Become a good listener
Sometimes in our efforts to give people an encouraging word, we fail to extended to them a listening ear. Most people need to vent about what they are dealing with. I have found that a word of encouragement will often mean more after I have taken the time to listen to the person I want to encourage. Listening helps us shape our encouragement to fit people’s specific needs. Instead of giving blanket statements, give people personalized, tailor-made encouragement.
2. Pray with them
We have all said these words before: “I’ll be praying for you!” We always mean well, but many times we fail to follow through on this promise. Certainly saying these words to someone can be encouraging to some degree, but it does not compare to actually taking the time to pray for someone right then and there. It just means more; and according to Scripture, accomplishes more (James 5:16). Make praying with others a priority as you seek to encourage others better.
3. Live a life of encouragement
What do I mean by this? I mean that we do not only encourage others with our words. We also encourage others by our actions. When we trust God, others are encouraged to trust God. When we speak truth, others are encouraged to do so. When we exercise faith, our brothers and sisters will be motivated to exercise their own. Be an example to those around you. You may never know who is watching and being encouraged by your walk with Jesus. But know this: we will one day when the saints of God gather together in heaven.
I will leave you with Romans 15:5—
May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus.