2016 has been a challenging year at best for me as it took me close to five months to totally recover from a stage 3 lacerated liver injury.  On top of the motion restrictions and physical exhaustion that accompanied my recovery, I have had a broken middle finger since the end of May which has imposed even more minor annoyances on my ability to perform even menial tasks and my independence in general.  My dear friend who has made himself available to help me is surely getting weary of the “can you come over and help me with ___”  text messages by now!

What I’ve learned these past many months is that most people I know have no clue about how to encourage AKA support AKA help one another, and this truth makes me sad.   It’s one thing to text a message that says “hope you are better today” and quite another to text “I’m coming over to walk your dog today” or “I’ll come over and vacuum the house for you” or “leave your dishes in the sink and I’ll come over and take care of them for you this evening” or “I’ll bring you a nice meal this afternoon” or “what groceries can I pick up for you today?” or “We will bring you some tennis balls for your walker” or even “I’ve been praying for you” ….. Do you get the point?  I found myself feeling depressed because I felt so isolated and forgotten by some who title themselves as friends on one hand, and on the other hand just wrote their absences off as “well everybody is busy and has their own lives to deal with” which is true for certain.  But are we not called to help and encourage one another and even make time for others when assistance is genuinely needed?

I also think of husband and wife relationships …… specifically about how I so often hear “he doesn’t help me around the house” or “she does a terrible job of keeping up on house cleaning” …… Sound familiar to which I ask “are we not to serve one another?”

So when I heard Charles Stanley’s message this morning, I thought here it is ….. well said, and I’m going to share my thoughts once and for all along with his suggestions on how to encourage one another.  He started with “We all need to be encouragers because we live in a world filled with discouraged people”  to which I say “Amen!” and I’m going to actively work at being better about encouraging others myself!  Join me!

Here’s how he said can be an encouragement to others:
1. By a sincere compliment
2. Always tell them the truth
3. Agree with them when appropriate
4. Pass on information to them that is helpful
5. Pray for them
6. Quote an appropriate scripture verse
7. Correct them when appropriate (with gentleness)
8. Tell them that you love them (from your heart)
9. Comfort them when they need it.
10. Assure them of your availability
11. Say thank you
12. Smile
13. Be quiet while they speak
14. Hug them
15. Serve them in some way
16. Accept them just the way they are
17. Be honest with them (at all times even if it may hurt)
18. Point them in the right direction
19. Motivate them to be their best
20. Reward them (even with just w/ words)

“Words of encouragement can keep someone alive.”