20 Ways to Encourage Others – and Yourself
Do you know how to encourage? Are you a natural encourager? Does encouragement ooze from every word you say and everything you do? That is not me! So I have to be very intentional about encouragement.
When I talk about encouragement I mean the genuine thing. Not some manipulative and hypocritical approach that flatters you in order to get something out of you!
According to Chambers Dictionary of Etymology, the word encourage comes from Old French en– cause to be + corage courage. It is the opposite of discourage which also comes from Old French des– away. So encouragement actually gives us courage to move ahead!
I have never met anyone who said they got too much encouragement. When you consider the world we live in, we simply cannot get too much encouragement.
Twenty Ways to Encourage
- Be positive. Be positive about things. See the good in things and let that be reflected in your conversations.
- Pass on your positive life lessons. Things will truly work out for the best as we follow Jesus. Share some of your stories with others.
- Be affirming. Be sure you give strong affirmations to your family, friends and co-workers. Remember, there’s plenty of discouragement in their lives.
- Be genuine. I wrote down – don’t be fake – but that’s kind of negative! Just be genuine and pass on encouragement with your very own personality. If you know a great encourager (and you aren’t one – like me), don’t try to be that person. Be yourself.
- Pray for someone. You can pray that someone will be encouraged. It will help! And, maybe, when you are praying, God will prompt you to call them and encourage them yourself.
- Smile. There is a critical shortage of smiles. Do your part to overcome the shortage.
- Hug. Now, be careful where and when and who you hug. Here in the south, we all hug each other. You can probably safely hug all your friends but be sure it is a genuine encouraging hug. No ulterior motives allowed.
- Pat on the back. Just a pat on the back – literally – can lift spirits.
- Remember and use a person’s name. Everyone likes to hear their name. Calling someone by name reminds them of their worth and value.
- Share spiritual truths. The Bible is full of uplifting scriptures. Share them with others.
- Don’t wallow. If things aren’t going well for you, lift up your head. As a friend of mine says: “If you’re going to hang your head, hang it up. Then you can look at Jesus!” Keeping a positive outlook when you are going through difficulties is powerfully encouraging.
- Comfort positively. When you are with someone going through a rough time, don’t join them in the mire. Give them a hand up! Ask God for some positive words to share with them to provide comfort and encouragement.
- Pass on joy. Joy is a fruit of the spirit. Tenacious followers of Jesus have the fruit of the Spirit in their lives. Take the joy you have and give it to others.
- Remind of blessings. We tend to be ungrateful. We tend to feel entitled. Every good and perfect gift come from God. Dwell on blessings instead of problems.
- Be winsome. There are plenty of opinionated and abrasive personalities out there. Be agreeable and pleasant!
- Stay positive on social media. Need I say more?
- Don’t gossip. Gossip is so destructive. It’s also sin.
- Bless – don’t curse. Make the effort to bless people with your words.
- Remember, the glass may really be half full! Why not focus and concentrate on what is right rather than what is wrong.
- Listen. Simply listening to someone can lift their spirits!
- Finally, encouraging others is always encouraging to yourself. I know that this is actually more than 20 but you can consider this a bonus! That is the serendipity of it all!
Call to Action
Pick at least two things from the list and try them out!