Friendship is one of the most valuable things God has blessed us with on Earth. Our friends become some of the most important people in our lives- confidantes, prayer partners, and counsel providers. It’s natural to want to encourage and love on them- in fact, it’s Biblical!
1 Thessalonians 5:11 says “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing”.
Sometimes, we get so caught up in day to day life that we forget to show those around us how much we appreciate them. No matter what’s going on in their lives, take some time today to encourage your friends and show them you care about them. As we continue to be lights in the world for Jesus, we need to make sure to share that light with those closest to us.
Here are some simple and easy ways you can encourage your friends- today!
1. Listen to Them
One of the most beneficial things you can do for your friends is listen to them. In conversation, it’s easy to hear what the other person is saying as you’re trying to formulate a response- but how often do we truly listen to the other person with the intent to understand what they are saying? When you talk with your friends, try asking them questions that will bring out how they feel about a situation, such as “What do you think about that?”, or “How did you feel when they said that?”, or even “What do you think God is teaching you through this time?”. A well placed question can help you to understand someone’s true feelings better- and of course, listen intently to their answer.
2. Write a Note
This one may take a little bit more effort, but it doesn’t matter if it’s written on a beautiful handmade card, or the back of a napkin- a note from a dear friend can make the difference between a rough day and a good one. If you’re nervous about sending a long note, or don’t know what to say, keep it short! Something as simple as “Hey, I’m grateful for you, thanks for being such a good friend” can be extremely meaningful. To personalize it even more and make it more meaningful, write something specific about them that you’re grateful for- whether it’s as deep as their kindness or as silly as their puns!
3. Do Something Kind
It’s a proven fact that actions speak louder than words. If you want to show someone that they are valuable to you and encourage them at the same time, do something kind for them. It can be as simple as giving them a piece of candy, or something bigger, like carrying their bag, helping them do a difficult task, or showing up with a pizza and their favorite movie. When you see proof that someone cares for you, it can encourage you to the bottom of your soul.
4. Pray for Them
We saved the most important one for last- when your friends are in need of encouragement, pray for them. James 5:16b says that “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective”. We know that God listens to our prayers, and one of the most powerful, encouraging things to hear when you are struggling is an honest “Hey, I’m praying for you” from a good friend. Don’t simply tell them you will- make sure that you take the time to pray for them. If you have time in that moment, pray for them right then and there. Many a person has been moved to tears by a simple “Can I pray for you?”.
We hope that you can take these simple actions and build upon them as you share encouragement and edification with those around you. Keep on keeping on as you share the Gospel in word and deed!