Matthew 25:35 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 25:36 Naked and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 25:37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 25:38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 25:39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Like it or not, a lot of people are in need of help—help in different forms. It could be money, shelter, food, or a word of encouragement. Moreover, giving or helping out has a sense of fulfillment attached to it. Think about one time, you volunteered your time or gave your money and how fulfilled you felt when you saw the effects of it. Acts of kindness have an effect on the well-being of the actor. It can also improve our general outlook and disposition.
When was the last time you encouraged or helped someone? Here are seven ways you can encourage or help others.
Several people are lonely and depressed. The Covid 19 restrictions and other life events may have made them depressed. In addition, there are several individuals who do not have friends and rarely receive visits. You can reach out to your friends, family, or neighbors and ask if they would like you to visit them. You could also take something along—cookies, food, a movie, or toys for their children. Laughing, talking, or listening to them can really help cheer them up. Moreover, this could help them share some of their worries and concerns with you. Extending these visits to prisons and hospitals would widen your net. You can plan this kind of trip or visit with your friends or church group.
Be conscious of your environment while visiting people who you are not very familiar with.
Listen and encourage them
Like it or not, there are several people who are grieving, tired, discouraged, and lonely. Reaching out to them via calls, emails, texts or social media can encourage them. Allow them to share their burdens and learn to keep their story private. You should also give them your undivided attention. You could try to make them laugh by sharing clean jokes.
You do not have to break the bank to buy a gift. Instead, let your gifts reflect your thoughtfulness and love. It could be a scarf, wristwatch, dress, journal, or even their favorite homemade cookies. The gift is a language that communicates love and care. It shows kindness and encourages people. For example, if your friend is an aspiring writer, you could give them a pen or notebook. This can be a source of motivation for them not to give up.
Meet a need
In the latter part of 2018, a story went viral on Facebook of how a stranger’s act of kindness brought joy and encouraged a family. Rich and Julie Morgan loved Steve Pizza while they were living in Michigan. Rich ordered it every payday. However, during a weekend trip, Rich was diagnosed with terminal cancer. To cheer him up, his family decided to get him a card from his favorite pizza place but the 18-year-old manager, Dalton Shaffer decided to take and deliver their order. Dalton drove for 3 hours from Michigan to Indianapolis where Rich was in hospice care just to deliver the pizza at 2:30 am in the morning. That kindness meant more than words could express to the Morgans. Meeting a need feels the same way, particularly for those who do not even expect so much. You can do some grocery shopping for that person, pay a bill for them or give them some food. A lot of people do not like charity, so kindly ask them if they would appreciate your help. Be sure to wear a cheerful expression when doing this.
Take them out to have fun
You can plan a picnic, a walk in the park, a trip to a museum, or an aquarium. Pay attention to their body language when you present these suggestions, this will help you know where they are most comfortable going. Spending time outdoors can be therapeutic and helps people to relax more. You can also extend this invitation to people who have disabilities, several of them might enjoy the outdoors but tend to shy away. They probably do not want to be a burden or stress anyone. Try to watch their body language and listen to their objections. Be sure to have as much fun as you can.
A smile can brighten up your day. You can smile and speak in a friendly way to the tired woman with four children on the bus. You can do the same to the worried father in the hospital or a customer at the mall. According to a forthcoming study, smiling can relieve stress. Smiling at people allows them to smile back. It is also a good way to relax and allows people to feel more comfortable. Moreso, smiling can encourage people who are struggling under the weight of problems. Smile, someone needs it.
You can make out some time to pray for and with people. Creating time to pray with people helps to build their faith and create a sense of community. You can ask for prayer requests and make out time to pray for them.
The truth is encouraging people does not cost so much, it is in the tiny details around us. Spending an extra five minutes listening to a friend talk about their worries, ordering lunch for a colleague, or smiling at a customer. Furthermore, people do not have to be sad or depressed before we think of ways to encourage them. Everyone needs some kind of encouragement. Do the little you can. Every forest was once a couple of seeds in the ground.
Today, think of someone and go out of your way to encourage him or her.
Sheila Grapeton writes on different topics.