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Abiding Monday: Encouraging Others

by Dawn on October 5, 2009
category: Abiding Monday,Inspiration


Last night, I received an e-mail from a friend who is serving Jesus in Asia.  Here is the message in its entirety:  “Hello beautiful!  I spent some time lifting you and your lovely family up today.  Have a wonderful week.  I love you guys!”

Does it get any better than that?  Who doesn’t love being encouraged by their friends?  I love that there is no motive in her message other than to bless me.  I treasure her prayers and her words – and it reminds me of Philippians 2: 1-4 (NLT):

Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. Don’t be selfish; don’t live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing.

Paul starts by asking a series of questions based around the concept of why we follow Jesus: to live in fellowship with Him and others, and to be encouraged and comforted by those relationships.  Paul then answers his own questions with a list of practical reminders.  Now, I’m all about lists, so here we go:

Practical Reminders for Encouraging Others (in my own words):

  • be agreeable, and not in a fake way
  • love one another
  • think like a team in your purpose/service – don’t fly solo
  • don’t be selfish
  • don’t obsess over what others think about you
  • choose humility over personal pride
  • stop making it all about yourself, and show a genuine interest in others’ lives

To sum up: less about me, more about others.

In any one of my fast-paced, highly scheduled weeks, I take care of my family and do what needs to be done.  And the second I have a free moment, I’m all about myself: what can I do with this time, how can I best relax, can I get away with sitting here and playing Scramble till midnight?, etc.  My first instinct is to serve myself.  Maybe you’re the same way.  It’s not that personal time is bad – we have discussed many times here at The Mom Crowd how to take care of ourselves and prize “me time“.  It’s that I all-too-easily forget to encourage my friends when I have the chance.

We all know encouraging people.  Maybe we have even praised them for their way with kind words, or their ability to send a nice note in the mail (with an actual stamp) on a frequent basis.  Perhaps you’re one of those people.  But the truth is, Paul is not letting encouragement remain merely a personality trait held only by some.  He is instructing us – all of us – to be compassionate, tender, and interested in what others think, feel, and do.

I challenge you today to take five minutes of your “me time” and give it to someone else in the form of encouragement.  Send them an e-mail or write them a note on a piece of that pretty stationery you bought months ago.  Call a friend and refrain from talking about yourself as long as you can.  Do one or more things from Amanda’s post on encouraging your mom friends.  According to the verses above, we can all find encouragement and comfort as a result of giving it.

Lord, thank you for demonstrating your profound humility in dying for us.  You are gentle and compassionate; help us to embody those traits and practice selflessness with those we care about.  Amen.

I leave you this week with a quote I keep by the door (so I will hopefully remember it each time I leave):

With every encounter, make it your aim that people are better off for having been in your presence.  Try to give something to the other person.

~ Jim George

3 Responses to Abiding Monday: Encouraging Others

  • Comment by Christy
    October 5, 2009 @ 6:26 am

    Sweet Words Dawn!!! Thank you for sharing!

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Amy V
    October 5, 2009 @ 11:03 am

    Great post. I was just sitting in church yesterday feeling convicted of this. Thank you for sharing and encouraging all of us.

  • Gravatar
    Comment by DM
    October 5, 2009 @ 12:34 pm

    Sweet Words Dawn!!! Thank you for sharing!

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