Scripture is clear, we are to be careful to build up others, to encourage those who are around us. I think there is a simple reason for this – life has a way of tearing people down. We have to make reaching out to others a priority. If we are going to be good at lifting up others, we must first be good at being aware of the needs of people and being sensitive to what will encourage them.
Some helpful ideas:
· Start with those who are closest to you. Look a little deeper than the surface. Listen and look for indicators that the person to whom you are speaking could use a boost. This takes time.
· Pray that the Holy Spirit will help you to discern real needs vs. perceived needs.
· Don’t try to “fix” everything – just offer compassion and care. Remember that only God can bring complete healing and wholeness – but He can use you to be involved in the process.
· When you don’t know what to say, simply pray. Sometimes nothing we can say will provide encouragement but our love and prayers will go a long way.
Hebrews 3:13 “You must encourage one another each day. And you must keep on while there is still a time that can be called “today.” If you don’t, then sin may fool some of you and make you stubborn.” (CEV)