Every day my prayer is, “Lord, USE ME to bring encouragement, hope and inspiration into someone’s life today.”
Sometimes, that’s as simple as smiling and asking a stranger how their day is going. While other times, it requires opening my front door, investing the time and energy to simply be with someone in need, listen intently, and pray with them.
I love to watch the transformation in someone’s countenance when you make the time to encourage and pray together. It’s truly remarkable to see God at work.
Most of my days, however, are spent alone, writing words of encouragement on my blog, Facebook page, or brainstorming the next article for my column in the Suburban Woman magazine. I must confess though, writing is lonely. With the exception of when someone reaches out to tell me, ‘your words touched me or really blessed me today,’ I never know if what I’m doing is making any difference.
That got me thinking, “Why do I need the approval of others to validate me or my work?” The Simple Truth is I’m human.
Unlike when I sold consulting services, when I could tangibly measure my performance or success by the number of contracts I brought in, writing has very little payoff. Well, that’s if I define ‘payoff’ solely in terms of dollars and cents. Fortunately, I’ve learned not to do that anymore.
Yes, of course it feels good when someone makes the effort to comment on a post or shoot me and email to say how an article encouraged them. But, that’s not the norm.
That also got me thinking.
Why don’t most people make an effort or take the time to encourage others? It doesn’t take much–a simple email, a quick phone call, or a click of a ‘Like’ button.
I believe it’s because few people have been taught to appreciate and encourage others. To stop what they’re doing and put someone else first.
Sadly, we live in a time when many people seem to think they’re too busy to acknowledge another’s presence, let alone appreciate their effort. Just go to a restaurant and watch how some people dismiss their server. Or, stand in line at the grocery store–some people won’t even hang up their phone long enough to greet the cashier. Really? I don’t get it.
Today, make time to tell the mail carrier, server, your spouse, your pastor, the babysitter, the landscapers, or your hair stylist, that what they do makes a difference to you. And, if you really want to be bold, tell them, “I appreciate you!” Watch their face light up. It doesn’t take much to be an encourager.
Take it from me, everyone needs a bit of encouragement. I confess, I do.