It’s Okay to Not Be Spurgeon
If you are like most Christians, there are probably times when you think of a brother or sister who has blessed you or served the church well, and so you want to encourage them. That’s good! The word of God commands you to ‘encourage one another’ (1 Thess 5.11). That impulse is from God’s Holy Spirit.
But the problem is that oftentimes it seems silly. We think, ‘What would I say to them?’ or ‘Why would they care what I have to say?’ Or sometimes actually beginning a conversation where we hope to encourage someone can seem awkward in our mind, so we just shy away from it.
Or maybe we start to think of how we could go about encouraging the person in a more tangible way… and we can’t think of anything. Sometimes we think of writing little notes… but then that seems to be too daunting.
The sad, tragic twist at the end of all of this is that now we end up feeling discouraged because we couldn’t encourage someone else… and that person is still in need of encouragement! So what’s the solution?
Sometimes the best way to do something is… to just do it. Don’t think too much. Don’t try to be Charles Spurgeon and get all wordy. It’s okay to write a quick note — the Lord can use those powerfully!
Some Encouraging Examples
Here is a great example of what I’m talking about. Someone sent me this the other day and it blessed my heart tremendously!
A quick note to say: Keep it coming, brother. Thanks for blogging and for the quotes and the encouragement you pass on to your brothers in Christ. Hopefully it will bear good fruit in the lives of many that you will only know about in the day of Christ.
What an encouragement that was to me! And what joy it gave me to think about ‘the day of Christ’!
Or here’s another example. In this note, a friend was just expressing their thanks to God for how he was ministering to this person through me and some other bloggers as well.
Julian. I am ever so grateful to the Lord for displaying His glory through his servant… I have been ever so blessed and refreshed by your ministry. Taking life captive under HIS Word and sharing the harvest with others…well it must be said. … Keep sharing what God has deposited and entrusted in you. I shall continue to pray for you and and our dear brothers who are positioned in the front lines. “Fight the good fight of faith.” (1 Timothy 6:11 ff)
How awesome is that? She told me that she thanks God for me! How humbling! And then she admonished me from the word to continue. Of course!
Another idea is this: Let someone know how you’re praying for them. Here’s a note I got from a friend some time ago that really encouraged me:
Just wanted to encourage you to continue persevering in your call as a Pastor. I continue to remember you in prayer and ask that God would continually renew your first love for His Son, Jesus – that your endurance as a pastor and your doctrinal precision would be the overflow of a heart that is ravished and smitten by Jesus Christ.
To God be the glory!
How grace- and strength- and courage-imparting are those words? Here is a brother praying God’s words back to him on my behalf. I have every reason to live today now, watching for the fruit of his prayers for me!
Here’s one last idea: if you’re not sure what to write, or how to encourage, just quote something you’ve read that’s been an encouragement to you and pray that God will use it to encourage your brother or sister as well. Here’s an example of something someone sent me just last week:
If the Lord be with us, we have no cause of fear. His eye is upon us, His arm over us, His ear open to our prayer – His grace sufficient, His promise unchangeable. (John Newton)
Being an encourager doesn’t have to be hard. Don’t make it more complex than it needs to be — just get to it. You will become a huge blessing to those around you and you will be walking in greater obedience to Jesus.
Any other ideas or suggestion on how to be an encourager? What are some things that you’ve seen people with the gift of encouragement doing well?