"What is the best way for us to encourage you?"
This was how my Mom started one of our evening conversations at the beach last month.
After we all joked that Starbucks gift cards, Chick-fil-a meals, or cash worked, we took turns sharing how we feel most encouraged. There were a variety of answers: written notes, a listening ear, words of praise, empathy, truth. In a group of just 8 people we differed in the ways we liked to receive encouragement.
So, I concluded that not everyone likes to be 'blessed' in the way that I do. And if I'm struggling to figure it out? Just ask.
People around us might be hurting, struggling, or going through a challenging time. And, yes, we can certainly depend on the Holy Spirit to guide us on how to minister to them. But, I think sometimes we feel at a loss as to how to help and so we just don't do anything.
Maybe we need to say, "How can I best serve you right now?"
I have always loved this verse. There is so much packed into those few words about how our speech can hold power to impact someone in a positive way. While it is a verse on speech, I think the principle can hold that any timely act of service or word of encouragement will bless someone.
Maybe we need to sit down with those close to us and have a 'how can I encourage you' conversation. It was really fun for our family to spend some time discussing this. We all came away learning a little bit about one another.
So, if you get a question from me about this, you'll know why :)
And, to the one who might be asked the question: Tell them. Be honest. If someone is wanting to bless you, allow them that opportunity. I'll be the first to admit that it's really hard for me to receive help from people. But I continue to learn that this whole 'living a life of blessing' isn't just for me. If we're all striving to bless those around us, then we need to be willing to be blessed. And just as giving blessing takes humility, receiving blessings also requires humility.
This is Day 28 of a series: Made to Pour, Living a life of Blessing