For believers, encouraging others shouldn't just be something we do occasionally; it should be a way of life. Sometimes we're so in the habit of thinking nice things and not articulating them that speaking encouragement to someone else can feel forced or awkward.It doesn't have to be this way! My challenge to you is this: Take a peek at this list of 25 ways to encourage someone else and do one TODAY! What are you waiting for? We need to infuse our discipleship with courage, and these are some practical ways that you can do just that.
"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching." - Hebrews 10:24-25
1. Leave a coworker or family member a kind word on a sticky note.
2. Keep a dry-erase marker in your bag so you're always ready to leave an encouraging word on a mirror. Maybe it's your best friend's powder room mirror, a mirror in the restaurant bathroom, or the side mirror on a stranger's car. If you've got the marker, you're ready to uplift someone’s heart!
3. Make a list of people you want to encourage and cross their names off after you intentionally speak life-giving words to them. When your list is complete, create another!
4. Give encouragement rather than flattery. Don't tell someone their shoes are gorgeous; instead, tell them a reason you appreciate their friendship. Flattery is the low-hanging fruit of the soul that can spoil easily. Encouragement is a fertilizer that makes the soul stronger.
5. Surprise a coworker with an email listing five reasons you're thankful they are on the team.
6. Tape a $5 coffee gift card in a public bathroom stall. In the TO: spot, write down encouraging words (Example - To: A Talented and Loved Human).
7. Speak life into the life of a child you know. Recognize something they are gifted at and articulate this to them. Maybe even explain to them how their talent could change the world.
8. At the dinner table, go around and finish the sentence, "I'm thankful for the person on my right because___."
9. Use the voice text feature on your phone to audibly pray for someone who comes to your mind. It's a powerful thing to hear someone who cares for you praying out loud!
10. Write your boss a “Top Ten” list of reasons you love working under their authority.
11. Mention something great you see in how a parent treats their young child. Even strangers will soak up the powerful words of being told that they are loving their child well.
12. Write down a Bible verse that you use to pray for someone. Tell them why it reminded you of them.
13. Send someone a yellow-themed "You are My Sunshine" goodie bag or care package. Find fun yellow items to put inside and write out reasons you love them on yellow note cards and send it to someone whose skies have been grey.
14. Grab a mylar balloon from the dollar store and tie it on a front door, a desk chair, a backpack, or anywhere to remind someone in your life that you care about them.
15. Make a meal for someone who has expressed that they're feeling overwhelmed. Personally, this is one of the kindest things someone could do to love my family! Cooking stresses me out!
16. Buy a few extra copies of your favorite book and write an encouraging note inside the cover. Then either surprise a friend and give it to them, or look for someone in a coffee shop who might want a good next read!
17. Use the phrase, "Tell me more about that," when you're talking with someone. It helps them to know you are listening, and it builds courage in their willingness to share.
18. Don't tell people you'll pray for them. Actually pray with them at the moment, on the spot. Doing this will also remind you later on to pray.
19. Choose someone whom you will encourage every week for a year. Leave them a note on the same day every week. You can even keep it anonymous. This year I've prayed every Monday for the principal at my school and have left her an envelope that says, "Monday prayer for Marie." I write out a prayer for her in order to bring courage to her soul! I have fun sneaking in and out of her office to leave her a note.
20. Speak real truth into people's fears and insecurities. If someone you love is nervous about delivering a big presentation at work, identify something they are great at and remind them. "You are such an articulate speaker. Your message is going to be really clear." Or maybe, "One of the things you really exceed in is connecting to others. I'm sure your audience will be captivated." If your child is nervous about trying out for the soccer team, remind them of what a hard worker they are and how great they are at passing. Speak truth to quiet fears.
21. Notice and acknowledge when someone is doing something of importance or value, no matter how small.
22. Leave a giant tip. Whether it's at a restaurant or a kid's lemonade stand. Then tell the recipient why you appreciate their service!
23. When you see people working hard, let them know! Tell the teller at the bank that you appreciate how quickly they served you. Encourage the grocery store cashier that they are great at being efficient and moving the line along. Thank your barista for nailing your favorite drink. Even just a "You're really great at your job," will inspire and encourage others.
24. Notice and acknowledge where people are making an effort or placing value. Is there a beautiful elderly woman in the grocery store? Let her know how put-together she looks – you will make her entire week. See someone in the parking with an expensive car? Give them a nod and let them know how sweet their ride is. Take the opportunity to value what others value.
25. Take the time to look those closest to you in the eyes and speak words of encouragement that you know they need to hear. Sometimes we forget to tell those in our inner circles what their souls are starving to hear.
Sun Valley Young Adults Coordinator, Jesus lover, smitten wife, active mom, tenured teacher, and writer of words.