Friday, February 1, 2013

Engaging in Encouragement: 14 Easy, Everday Ideas

{yes, I love alliteration!} Encouraging others has been on my heart a lot lately.  I’m not usually very intentional about encouragement, and I would really like to be a much better encourager.  It makes my day when someone—friend, family member, stick-in-the-mud—encourages me out of the blue, and it really isn’t that difficult to do.  So why am I not going around trying to help others have better days when it’s an easy thing?

I decided to compile a list of ways I can encourage someone.  Hopefully it will help me remember much more often to take the few minutes to do something unexpected and nice.

  • Write a card – it can even be anonymous, if you don’t want to put pressure on the recipient to respond. Make it a get-well card if the person is sick, or just write a favorite verse with “You are a {insert adjective} person!”

  • Send a verse to someone’s Facebook wall, Twitter, or via private message.

  • Clean something when you’re at a family member or close friend’s house, without being asked by that person. (If you babysit, leave the house cleaner than when you arrived)

  • Tell someone you missed them at the last {small group meeting/church service/MOPS/etc.} (via FB, text, in person, etc.)

  • If someone has just moved in next door, leave an anonymous bag or two of basic groceries on their doorstep. This happened to us when we first got married and moved into our first apartment, and let me tell you, it MADE our day/week/month!  To this day I do not know who left it there, although I have a few wild guesses.  But it helped us out so much and made us feel very welcome.

  • Bake an extra batch of cookies or an extra loaf of bread and give it away.

  • Give something of yours away – a book, a movie, a piece of clothing.  Or let someone borrow something, and when they attempt to give it back, tell them to keep it.

  • Practice hospitality and invite someone (or someones) over, even if just for coffee.  Your house doesn’t have to be spotless, because, chances are, their house isn’t spotless, either. I actually feel more comfortable in a not-spotless house, because then it feels more like home.

  • Give a hearty hug.

  • Ask how you can pray for that person and pray with them (this is also great for people you’ve just met – the waitress who happens to be wearing the same headband as you, the person seated next to you on the airplane, the elderly resident at the nursing home who rooms with your grandparent).

  • Pay for the food the person in the drive-thru behind you ordered.

  • Start a conversation with the shyest person in the room standing by herself.

  • Compliment someone on some part of their character (clothing compliments are nice, but a dime a dozen. Compliments on character, such as, “You are always smiling, and it cheers up the room,” or “You have such a servant heart. I can tell you really seek to serve God through serving others” are so much more powerful).

  • Hold the door open for the mom with a baby, the mom with 4 kids, or the mom-to-be who is spending all her energy just getting up to the door.

There are hundreds, thousands, more ways to encourage others.  Look for ways each day you can encourage someone around you.

What are some ways you have encouraged others or others have encouraged you?


  1. Suggestion for another encouragement, when you pay for your gas, give the clerk extra and ask them if they'll put it toward the gas purchase of the next person that is getting very little(like the person getting exactly one gallon of gas).

    1. That's a wonderful idea! Thanks! I may have to try that sometime :)


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