Think about all the people in the world … all 7.13 billion.
Now, think about all the people you pass by in a day.
Now, think about the people in which you have daily interaction.
And of those, which ONE is God calling you to encourage today? Who, in your circle of influence, could you be intentional with encouraging TODAY?
Paul, in his letter to the Thessalonians, wrote, “Encourage one another and build each other up …” The truth is everyone needs encouragement, even those that don’t think they do, or aren’t willing to admit. These are the “I’m okay, everything is fine” people. Sometimes, these people need to be uplifted the most.
Uplifting others doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as a hand-written note or a coffee gift card. Just something that conveys: I was thinking about you and I value you. And that’s important. Note that Paul doesn’t say “Encourage one another’s … work.” Instead, he’s saying to encourage the person. Just as Jesus values you more than your completed tasks, we are called to value those around us more than what they do.
Finally, I believe encouragement is more than a suggestion, it’s a Biblical mandate with high expectations. In fact, if you read the rest of Paul’s verse in 1 Thessalonians, he says, “… just as in fact you are doing.” He is assuming those to whom he’s writing – and to us in 2015 – are already doing the work of peer encouragement. So, I suppose the question is: are we?
Just last week, a friend gave me a gift card to my favorite coffee place. He said it was “just because” and to thank me for my work in the ministry. It didn’t matter how much was on the card, what matters was his intention and that meant the world. More than the caffeine he provided, his simple encouragement was the fuel that carried me through the week.
So, how about you? Who can you surprise and delight this week with a simple encouragement? Don’t know who? Ask God to reveal them to you – I’m sure He already has someone in mind.