The Joy of Church Connection for Young Believers Day 4: Being an Encourager
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11, ESV)
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” (James 1:19, ESV)
Have you ever received some upsetting news—failing a test, or getting fired from your job, or maybe even the death of a loved one? We’ve all received upsetting news, and it’s always hard to hear it. I’m thankful that when I’ve experienced difficulties, I’ve had people in my life that have lifted me up and encouraged me. It could’ve been through a kind text or letter, a cup of coffee or a warm meal, or maybe even a long hug. We’re all encouraged in different ways, but I’m sure you can think of someone in your life who has been a source of encouragement when you needed it.
I want to challenge you today to be that person who uplifts those around you—be a source of cheer and joy to those you meet on a daily basis. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing to have it be said about you, “Wow, that person is so full of JOY!” As Christians, joy should mark our character. We’ve been saved and been brought from spiritual death to eternal life through the death of Jesus Christ. We have much to be joyful about, and I hope our joy is evident to those we come in contact with!
You might think you’re not cut out to be an encourager to someone else—that you don’t have the personality for it. I’m here to tell you that’s not the case; we all can be a source of encouragement in someone’s life. This isn’t just something we can do—it’s something we should do. In 1 Thessalonians 5, we read that we are to “encourage one another and build each other up.” It may not be natural for you, but that’s no excuse not to do it. Does it seem fair for others to encourage you over and over again while you only sit back and enjoy the benefits?
For you who feel that being an encourager does not come naturally to you, I want to give you a few examples of things you can do that may lift up others around you. One thing that builds me up when I am going through a difficult time is having someone willing to sit with me and listen to me. Listening to someone else speak is something every one of us can do—though it may be harder for some people (myself included)! We read in James 1 that we are to be “quick to hear” and “slow to speak.” We don’t need to quickly jump in and offer advice and our own opinion; sometimes the most meaningful thing is to offer companionship and a listening ear.
There are other practical ways we can encourage others. Something that’s always been meaningful to me is hearing words of affirmation. You may notice a gift the other person has—a kind heart, a generous spirit, or they are passionate about sharing the gospel. You may even just have a wave of appreciation about this person for what they’ve done in your life and for others. Dear brother or sister, please share this with them—I promise it will warm their heart. You can say it in person over coffee, send them a text or email, or even write them a note. It’s a simple gesture, but it can bring joy into the life of another believer and friend.
We can also be encouragers by having cheerful attitudes. Isn’t it refreshing to be around someone who’s filled with joy? It’s wonderful to know people who are constantly complimenting those around them and who shower those they meet with love and genuine affection. It’s never too late to start being an encourager to those around you—why not start today? The Lord has asked that we love our neighbors as ourselves, and what better way than to encourage them and build them up? I pray that we may be known as people who pour encouragement into the lives of others.