We live in a world that is filled with pain, struggle, and disappointment. We often feel discouraged, overwhelmed, and alone. At times, it can be difficult to keep our faith and stay encouraged in the Lord. However, it is important to remember that we are called to lift each other up, just as 1 Thessalonians 5:11 reminds us: “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” In this article, we will explore practical ways to encourage each other in the Lord, so that we may be strengthened and uplifted.
If you’re wondering how you can encourage others in the Lord or just looking for ways to motivate others, consider the following suggestions:
1. Make a Personal Visit to Their Home
While it is convenient to make a phone call or send a text message to a friend, nothing beats being present.
There is power in presence because it fosters personal relationships among church members.
One of the reasons Christianity grew in the first century was that believers “broke bread” in their homes (Acts 2:46). Christ’s followers gathered in their homes to encourage one another in their faith.
Home visits also allow church members to nurture and sharpen one another “as iron sharpens iron” (Proverbs 27:17).
Personal home visits can also assist believers in gaining a better understanding of and awareness of one another’s needs.
2. Listen to Them Actively
Listening is a way to show genuine concern for others. Active listening enables you to comprehend and absorb all of the details of another person’s story.
Listening allows you to get vital information.
The Bible encourages active listening:
Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance (Proverbs 1:5, ESV)
The Bible also teaches that to give an answer before listening is “folly and shame” (Proverbs 18:13).
Interruptions and interjections in conversation also erode trust. The book of Proverbs warns us:
A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion. (Proverbs 18:2, ESV)
When you listen to someone without interrupting them, you gain their trust and respect.
Listening enables you to form strong bonds with others and encourages them to open up to you more.
3. Compliment Them
Sincere compliments make us feel valued and appreciated. Complimenting others increases their willingness to cooperate and collaborate with you.
Compliments encourage people to be more creative and improve their performance.
In her Harvard Business Review article: A Simple Compliment Can Make a Big Difference writer Erica Boothby affirms:
“There is ample evidence that giving someone else a boost, whether giving compliments or expressing gratitude, has a mood-lifting effect and contributes to well-being.”
Complimenting others is a good thing, which is why the Bible encourages us to “not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is within our power to do it” (Proverbs 3:27, ESV).
4. Share an Encouraging Bible Promise with Them
Sharing bible verses and passages that are relevant to people’s situations allows you to connect with them on a deeper level. It demonstrates your genuine concern for them.
The word of God is so powerful it called the universe into existence (Psalm 33:6,9).
The same creative word can give hope to a discouraged person.
Nothing is more inspiring than God’s word.
5. Pray for and with Them
Praying for people who are discouraged makes them feel valued and wanted.
When we pray with them, they are reminded that they are not alone in their struggles.
However, we do not pray with people in order to make them feel wanted and loved. We pray because we believe that God hears and answers prayers.
We pray for people confident that they will receive an answer from God.
Therefore, pray for your friends both in their presence and in their absence.
6. Send a Card or a Note to Them
Sending cards and notes helps to deepen and improve relationships.
Sending your friends a card reminds them that you’re thinking of them.
Choose your words of encouragement with care, and make sure they are appropriate for the situation.
Whenever possible, write by hand your message for a more personal touch.
7. Send a Gift or Present
Sending them a gift shows them how much you care.
The gift could be a bouquet of flowers with a simple note attached.
It could also take the form of material assistance tailored to their specific situation.
And, if your finances permits, you could provide monetary support.
8. Check on Them Regularly
When believers visit and pray with those who are going through a difficult time, they believe their ministry is complete. After that, they don’t bother to check in on them.
It is important to check in on those who are going through difficult times to see how they are doing.
If you are unable to visit them at their home, you may contact them by phone, text, email, or personal visit.
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