What’s Your Encouragement Style?
Encouragement. It’s something that we all like (and need) to receive. Some of us need it more than others. (yep…that’s me…I’m raising my hand over here).
Some people are great at encouraging others. The coach for the Little League team, the ever-cheerful receptionist, the always-smiling greeter at the store. But for some, it doesn’t come quite so easy or as naturally.
Did you know that as Christians, we are ALL commanded to encourage each other?
1 Thessalonians 5:11 says to encourage one another and build each other up, just as you are doing.
Proverbs 27:17 tells us that “iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another”.
“That’s all well and good,” you may think. “But I’m not an encourager. I don’t know HOW to encourage others.”
We all receive and give encouragement differently. Sometimes, they way we like to receive encouragement is not the way we like to give encouragement. There are many different ways or styles that you can encourage others and receive encouragement, kind of like the different love languages.
Let me give you eight and you can decide which one(s) is your strength and which one(s) you would like to grow in
Giving – Proverbs 22:9 says” A generous person will be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.” Giving involves sharing with others the gifts God has given to us. This includes our money, our possessions, and our time. People with physical needs are encouraged by the generosity of others.
Praying – 2 Corinthians 1:11 says “You can join in by helping with prayer for us, so that thanks maybe given by many on our behalf for the gift that came to us through the prayers of many.” Anyone can pray, and this is a powerful tool for encouragement. This is something you can do for someone even if they live far away or you can’t talk to them.
Hospitality – Romans 12:13 says “Share with the saints in their needs; pursue hospitality.” Practicing hospitality means reaching out to strangers and offering them a hand of Christians friendship. It can mean you enjoy having new people in your house or you make new people feel welcome, whether it’s at school, work, home, or church.
Speaking – Proverbs 16:24 says “Pleasant words are a honeycomb: sweet to the taste and health the body.” The power of words to encourage another is one of the greatest tools you can possess. Your words can either build up or tear down.
Writing – Romans 15:4 says “Whatever was written before was written for our instruction, so that through our endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we may have hope.” Just as Scripture is an encouragement to our souls, your written notes of encouragement to others has great potential to help someone through a difficult time or to even rejoice with them through their success.
Helping – Proverbs 27:17 says “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Whether helping someone move or keeping someone accountable, it is good to have friends around us in our Christian walk. Paul set a good example for us by taking traveling companions with him to help him in his ministry.
Physical Touch – John 13:23, 25 says “One of His disciples, the one Jesus loved, was reclining close beside Jesus…He leaned back against Jesus and ask him, ‘Lord, who is it?’” We need physical touch in our lives to feel whole. A friendly hug when a friend has just excelled in a sporting event says: I will celebrate with you. An arm around someone’s shoulder when the person is hurting goes a long way in comforting him or her.
Presence – Mark 4:37-39 says “A fierce windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking over the boat…But He as in the stern, sleeping on the cushion…He got up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Silence! Be still!’ The wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” God’s presence within us gives us joy and helps when we are fearful. During the trials of life, we need to lean on Jesus to still the raging storms.
Out of these eight ways, which best describes the way you like to encourage others? My top three favorite ways of encouragement others are praying, writing, and helping.
Out of these eight ways, which best describes the way you like to be encouraged? The top three ways I like to receive encouragement are praying, writing, and presence.
We should all strive to do better and to grow in every aspect of our lives, including giving and receiving encouragement. I’ve been working hard on encouraging others by physical touch (a friendly hug) and presence (just being there). I’ve also been working on be open to receive encouragement through allowing people to help me and touch me (friendly hugs).
What’s your strength, the way you encourage others?
What area to do you want to grow in?
How do you like to be encouraged?
What area will you work on receiving encouragement?
Whatever you do, don’t stop giving or receiving encouragement! It never hurts to encourage someone and generally takes very little time or effort. If you feel like YOU need some encouragement, chances are someone else does too and you may be JUST the person to give it to them.
Hebrews 10:24-25 (emphasis added) “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”