My dad is from another era. And, I don’t just mean age-wise, though he is turning 87 this year. No, he is from a time when the mindset was to value people. For example, just this week, he visited a distant relative in the hospital, who he hadn’t seen for probably twenty to thirty years. But, the man was dying, so my dad went and sat and talked with him. It didn’t matter to my dad that they weren’t close, or that it would be an inconvenience, or that it would be hard for my dad to make the trip. All that mattered was that this man was dying and it was the right thing to do to visit and encourage him and let him know that he mattered to people. My dad is a gentleman through and through. It’s one of those things I treasure about him, that he values relationship over comfort.
Jesus was our great example of valuing people. It didn’t matter who they were; they could have been a child, a sick person, or a person with a bad reputation. I think about how Jesus would look at refugees and the immigrants among us that don’t speak our language. He wouldn’t have treated them like 2nd class citizens. Instead, his heart was to value each person, to let them know they mattered and were important.
This is why it is so important to be an encourager to the people we encounter throughout our day. Here are some ideas to get you started.
1. Compliment a stranger.
My husband went to the doctor a few months ago and encountered quite a few elderly gentlemen in the waiting room. They were all talking, making small talk and quick jokes, even though they didn’t know each other. It’s such a difference from most of our society that hides behind our cell phones like a shield. There are many forgotten or overlooked people, people who are not engaged in a conversation, much less a recipient of a compliment such as; a person in a wheelchair, an elderly person, or a refugee. Engaging &/or complimenting them could change their entire day.
2. Engage people.
3. Respond to emails.
4. Remember things.
I’ll never forget when my husband’s mentor called us when we were at arriving at the hospital to deliver our 2nd child by c-section. I was a little jittery with pre-surgery+pre-baby nerves. It meant so much to me that he remembered and then prayed with us. It encouraged us because he loved us enough to remember.
5. Be polite.
I’m serious! I know this is totally old-fashioned of me, but I am going to rock it out on some manners right now:
- Open the door for the person behind you.
- Look people in the eyes and smile.
- Offer to help someone that needs help. (Wheelchair shoppers usually need help!)
- Apologize when you cut someone off or walk in front of them.
- Acknowledge when someone apologizes to you.
Are you wondering how these good manners encourage people? Just the other day, a man was sitting in the Target parking lot in a wheelchair, sitting beside his car. People generally don’t do that when they are done shopping, right? So, I went over and asked if he needed anything or if I could help him. He was so surprised and thanked me again and again for stopping to help.
I’m trying to teach my kids to do these things now, but we all know the saying…Experience is the best teacher. If they can experience it through your example, this lesson will be well taught.
My prayers to you as you go about your day. Let peoples’ hearts be encouraged by our actions today!
What are your favorite ways to encourage people? If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe today for our weekly recap email.
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