You have the power to impact someone’s day for the better. It’s true – your words could speak into their life in powerful ways. Their mood, attitude, or even mindset could improve. They might feel more free to dream, or to take the next step toward achieving a goal.
Does that sound too dramatic? Maybe, but I can remember many times when a positive interaction turned my day around. I’ll bet you can, too. Wouldn’t you like to be that kind of person more often?
Take a look at this verse Paul wrote in the Book of Philemon:
“Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.”
Wow – that’s quite a statement. We don’t know what Philemon actually said, but Paul clearly states what he did: he showed Paul love, he gave Paul joy and encouragement, and he refreshed Paul as well as others. Can you hear how grateful Paul is?
I wonder if Philemon even realized what a special thing he had done. I suspect he was just doing what came naturally and didn’t stop to think much about it. That’s how I’d like to approach the day – seeking out opportunities to minister.
Honestly, some mornings – this morning, in fact – I’d rather sit back and wait for someone else to offer me encouragement. It can be hard to reach beyond my neediness. But if I do, I always end up receiving my share of blessing. God is so good!
So how do we not only encourage, but refresh others like Philemon did? Here are some thoughts I had:
- We can be good listeners first.
It’s been rightly called ‘The Ministry of Presence’. Giving our time and attention, to really hear what’s going on in someone’s life, makes them feel heard and acknowledged. That’s a gift in itself.
- We can hold back on giving our advice.
Believe it or not, it’s better to simply nod your head in understanding at first than to jump into guidance. Though your ideas might be great, sharing them right away could very well pull them down instead of build them up.
- We can remind them of God’s promises.
Scripture tells over and over about God’s goodness, faithfulness, power, and mercy. Hearing those promises stirs up hope to our hearts – and passing them forward can bring a new purpose to others.