“Encourage one another and build each other up.”1 Thessalonians 5:11, NIV
Encouragers are a rare commodity because we live in a negative culture. It’s easy to be critical or spread gossip in order to tear someone down.
Yet God calls us to do the exact opposite. He wants you to build others up – even the people you don’t like! He didn’t just create the people you struggle with, he also died for them.
When you encourage others, you are sending a message that says, “You matter to God, and you matter to me.”
Here are three practical ways to be an encourager:
Listen to others. The Bible says, “Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2, NLT. When you listen attentively to someone, you are helping them carry their burden. Everyone needs a safe place to share their struggles. Be an encourager by listening without judgment or adding to the negativity.
Use positive words. When your goal is to build others up, it’s easy to pick the right words. Before you open your mouth, ask yourself, “Will this help or hurt them? Encourage or discourage? Build up or tear down?” Choose good words!
Pray for them. Make a list of the people you see very week. Put it in your Bible and pray regularly for them. Ask God for wisdom on how to best encourage and build them up according to their needs. When the timing is right, tell them you’re praying for them and ask how you can be praying for them in the future. Even unbelievers appreciate that!
Who will you encourage today?