In just a few days, Linda, Leah, and I will be flying out for Indonesia commissioned with the task of bringing encouragement to our missionaries. As the date of our travel is quickly arriving, I am thinking more and more about what it means to be an encouragement. And in my reflections, I have grown in my conviction that I know very little and think very little of how to be an encouragement to others.
I believe that there will be some latent encouragement that comes just simply in our arrival. Familiar faces, a bit of home, and lots of goodies we are bringing with us will provide some semblance of general encouragement. I also assume that just having someone from home who genuinely comes to their context for understanding will be encouraging.
But as I have taken on this task to go and encourage friends in ministry, I have settled into the notion that the very things that make for good and healthy relationships are the stuff that encouragement is made of. Things like a listening ear, a willing heart to commiserate, and a willing heart to celebrate.
Being sent half-way around the world to encourage a family has brought these thoughts to mind. But thinking about going out to encourage has made me rethink what I do every morning. Every day I step out my door get in my car and drive out into the world. Every day I should consider that I am being sent out to encourage others. I have multiple opportunities each day to listen, to commiserate, to celebrate with others, and to encourage. Am I taking those opportunities?
So what encourages you? And how have you intentionally set out to encourage others in your daily life?
For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.