Five Minute Friday, Tell His Story

How Can I Be an Encourager?

Last week, in my post about thinking back on the goals we set in January (way back then!) and assessing our progress toward those goals, I mentioned the benefit of finding – and keeping company with – faith builders.  Those gals who lift us up – strengthening our faith and helping us walk closer with the Lord.  We all need faith builders.  Encouragers.

But, in the very same way, we all need to be faith builders.  To be actively – and regularly – encouraging others in their spiritual life and walk.  Some of us have the gift of encouragement – and isn’t that a wonderful thing?  Being a faith builder just comes naturally for some.  But, whatever your spiritual gift, all of us are expected to be encouragers.

Hebrews 3:13a “But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today….”

To exhort is exactly that – to encourage.  Or as one dictionary said, “to strongly encourage.”  We are to daily be encouraging each other.  Yes, that encouragement might come through the written word (I am often blessed through the blogs and devotionals of gifted writers)  or it might simply be a quick word – even a text.  But I think stronger encouragement comes through conversation.  Real dialogue – not only the spoken words but (especially) the listening.   Not only are both key to encouraging someone else but how often do we find ourselves encouraged as well?

I also think there is real value in one-to-one encouragement.  There might be times when you are able to encourage an entire family.  And that is a blessing.  Or perhaps you regularly meet with a small group of ladies – a book club, a mom’s group, or a Bible study – and you encourage one another.  Another blessing!  But there is something about individual time that is needful, helpful and precious.  Look for someone each day to cheer one.  And ask God to show you someone who could use your quality time.  You probably will not need to look far!

One final idea/suggestion for being an encourager – and actually the point of this post.  One of the best and often most effective ways to be an encourager does not require you to know just the right things to say – or to say anything at all.  It is simply showing up.  Being present.  Think of your pastor.  He studies.  He prepares.  And he prays over each sermon.  Yes, he prays that hearts will respond, and that is encouraging, but one of the greatest encouragements he has each week is for people to actually fill the pews.  Having live bodies to whom he can preach is, well, very encouraging!  The same is true for the small group leader, the new mom starting a playgroup, the soloist, or the one heading up a worknight at the church.  The list is endless.  At church or in your neighborhood. Being faithful goes a long way.  Your presence not only encouragers the one expecting you but can also encourage others to continue to be faithful.

And – this one is just for me – come with a sweet spirit.  And a smile.  My face is not naturally smiling.  Actually, just the opposite, if I’m honest.  Even though I am present, my sullen face often makes it seem as if I would rather be anywhere else.  Not exactly encouraging!  I also tend to be a wallflower….but that is for another post.  However, our body language and our smiles can do much to encourage (or to discourage!) others – without us ever saying a word!  Be aware of that.

I want God to use me as a faith-builder.  This can be done in so many ways.  How has God used you to encourage someone else in their faith this week?  I would love for you to share.  Leave me a thought/idea – or just share your experience – in the comments below.  If someone has been an encourager to you…thank them and thank God for them!!

16 thoughts on “How Can I Be an Encourager?

  1. I loved this post, and you encouraged me by it. I immediately remembered to answer a lady about discipling a young girl, and I told her that I would start to meet with her, Lord willing and if she is also willing. I also love the reminder to just be present and to encourage each of those people~the soloist, the checker at my grocery store, my pastor…and to always be looking out for more. I read Ephesians 4:26-30 today and I loved what v. 29 said: Do not let any foul language come from your mouth, but only what is helpful for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear. It gives grace…and like salt seasons food, our conversations should also season those things taking place around us. Exhortation is one of my top spiritual gifts: faith, exhortation, discernment/insight/knowledge/wisdom all tied for third place. Do you know what yours are? I’m just curious. Take care!

    1. Great post! I loved this! I wrote SMILE THOUGH YOUR HEART IS BREAKING and one of my paragraphs tells us when we are hurting and a smile is hard, one of the best things we can do is to help someone else. When we encourage others, we are encouraged ourselves.
      Terri D
      #18 FMF
      I chose to read your blog because of the beautiful photo with the pretty circle around it

      1. So glad you stopped by….and I am so slow in responding this week. But I appreciate your comment and your kind words!! Have a wonderful week, Terri!

  2. I cannot imagine that your natural facial expression is best described as sullen. That seems to betray your entire personality. I just know that you are approachable and kind and welcoming. And that you shine a light that radiates with your faith. We just ordered pizza and the young delivery young kid was so pleasant. I had added a tip to our order but had I known how sweet he was going to be, I would have gone with 20% and not 15%. Decided to go back to the Domino’s website to see if I could add more to the tip (couldn’t) and discovered a place to review our order and our driver. Would love to think that maybe he will be rewarded with a raise. So often just hearing a kind word can make all the difference!!

  3. Thank you for your encouraging words- so needed for today! You’re right, I do find reasons to smile as I read other blog posts from inspirational writers. Thank you for yours. Karen 🙂 FMF #10

  4. Sometimes you’ve got to be there,
    when you do not understand,
    for presence is the proof of care,
    and you can hold a hand
    that’s been battered by the days
    that took a fearful toll,
    and in its scarring you can trace
    the ruin of a soul.
    So run your thumb, so gently
    across the pain-ridged skin,
    for in a touch that’s friendly
    true healing can begin,
    and, perhaps, in a while,
    a head will raise, you’ll see a smile.

    1. Andrew – sorry that I am late to responding…but I pray you are having a peaceful and comfortable week. There is so much power in a simple touch! Thank you for the reminder!

    1. I hope your neighbors enjoyed the flowers. I’m sure they did. I know I would love it if my neighbor dropped by with flowers!! How kind:)

  5. Loved your post, and the reminder that our body language and smiles have the power to encourage or discourage others–even without us saying a word.

  6. Jennifer, I love this post! Yes, yes, let’s just show up and be present. Be kind and gentle … and quiet. No pat answers, no long stories, no lobbing of Scripture.

    What a gift to give another.

    Beautiful.

    Bringing chocolate helps, too.

    ;-}

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