A man by the name of Joseph provides a timeless example of encouragement. Joe, was such a blessing to those around him that church leaders gave him a nickname. The started calling him, “The Encourager.” (Somehow as good as that sounds, I am not sure Hollywood would make a movie.) You can read his story in Acts 4:36-37, “Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.”
How can we grow more like Barnabas? How can we better encourage one another? I have a list – I know that is a shocker!
1. Look for the lonely and reach out to them.
2. Pay attention to the (small) details and acknowledge what others miss.
3. Don’t miss the bashful and shy.
4. Listen closely to what’s going on in people’s lives.
6. Pray for opportunities to encourage.
7. At times, encourage anonymously.
8. Remember those who are usually behind the scenes.
9. Put yourself in the place of others.
10. See through Christ-like eyes.
11. Find happiness in encouraging and joy in others enjoying encouragement.
12. Consider encouragement a sacred duty.
13. Do an act of service for an unsuspecting other.
14. Be a meaningful, genuine complimenter free of selfish motives.
15. Remember that encouragers are church growers.
16. Don’t overlook the frustrated (young parents, teens, unemployed, and newly divorced).
17. Mentally walk a mile in the potentially encouraged one’s shoes.
18. Find exciting, unusual ways to make someone’s day.
19. Appreciate the value of a handwritten note or card (especially in our virtual world).
20. Reach out to the “marginalized” (new members, the poor, those who attend alone, the elderly, widows, widowers, etc.)