Monday, September 28, 2020

30 Ways to Encourage Others

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For years, when I've prayed for someone who's going through a rough time, I would ask God to encourage them. I was perfectly happy praying for people and feeling like I was helping them by putting it all in God's hands while continuing in my comfortable life.

But then one day, while I was praying for encouragement for a friend of mine who was struggling with some health problems, I heard that still, small voice.

"That's your job."

Um, what? You mean I was supposed to get up and actually do something about what I was praying for? Okaaaaay...let's see how this goes.

30 Ways to Encourage Others

I sent my friend a quick text and let her know that I was praying for her. She responded quickly with heartfelt appreciation and we ended up chatting for a while which left us both feeling more prepared to meet the day we each had in front of us.

After that, I decided to add encouragement to my daily devotion routine. Every day, I choose someone from my rotating prayer app, PrayerMate, and send them a text, call them, mail them a card, or help them out in some way such as dropping off a meal, helping with errands, watching kids, etc. Most of the time, it only takes me a few minutes from my day to show someone that I'm thinking of and praying for them. Not only does it encourage them, but it blesses me as well.

Sometimes, one of the things that stops us from getting out of our comfort zone and encouraging someone else in their walk with Christ or their daily life, is not knowing how to do so. Another thing may be the fear of being rejected after putting ourselves "out there." That was a big deal for me and it still scares me sometimes, but in over a year of being purposeful with encouragement, no one has ever not been appreciative of it.

To help you get started, here are some ideas of people in your life that you can encourage and ways to do it.

1. Give unsolicited compliments and not just on appearance.

2. Send flowers.

3. Instead of asking, "how can I help?" be specific on ways you can help. 

4. Send a note or card.

5. Ask if they would like to get coffee together.

6. Use Bible verses specific to someone's situation to encourage them.

7. Listen to a friend talk instead of just talking about yourself.

8. Write a letter of appreciation or drop off a treat like a cookie tray at police stations, hospitals, teachers, etc.

9. Write a quick note of appreciation on a napkin to your waitress/waiter and leave it with a generous tip.

10. Let people know how they've encouraged you.

11. Drop a meal off. Bonus points if you use a disposable aluminum pan that they don't have to worry about returning! I like to keep a few on hand just in case.

12. Help a young mother or elderly neighbor with some chores or yardwork.

13. When you're talking to someone who's struggling in some way, take a moment to pray with them right then and there.

14. Use post-its to leave notes for family, friends, etc.

15. Give hugs often.

16. Pick up an extra coffee for a friend.

17. Call someone just to talk.

18. Tell people when you think they're doing a good job.

19. Pay for the meal or coffee of the person behind you in the drive through and ask the employee to give them a note with a Bible verse and one or two sentences like, "I hope you have a great day!" These cards make it easy to do that. 

20. Babysit for a friend so she can go to the store alone or on a date with her husband.

21. Say thank you often and show kindness, even when the cashier is taking forever or the waitress seems grouchy.

22. Send a care package to a loved one far away.

23. Share a book you loved with a friend.

24. Visit a nursing home and ask if there's a resident you could sit with for a while.

25. Send a text message letting someone know you're thinking of them and praying for them. Ask them how you can pray for them.

26. Send a note and stickers to a child you know.

27. Bake cookies for a friend, family member, or neighbor.

28. Tell your pastor and his family how much you appreciate them.

29. Gift something handmade.

30. Buy a $5 gift card when checking out at a store and give it to the person behind you in line.

31. Tell your kids and spouse how much you appreciate them. 

30 ways to encourage others:

I'd love to hear who and how you're encouraging others! Please share your stories with me in the comments.

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