Midweek Musings 4th November 2020

Be Somebody Who Makes Everybody Feel Like A Somebody

(By Rebecca Chapman)

Isaiah 46:4: “I have made you. I will carry you. I will sustain you. I will rescue you.”

What busy lives we lead with work, family, friends and activities! Even in these unusual times we still often manage to fill our days and have little time to stop or pause. We are social creatures who thrive on spending time with each other and often, when we interact, we leave a lasting impression on those we spend time with.

But how often do we take the time to listen to those around us? Let alone offer words of encouragement?

The world is full of discouragement, negativity and criticism which makes us weary and downhearted, but encouragement can give people support, renewed self-esteem, strength, joy and peace.

In my work I meet many people with acute and long-term lung conditions. Those at the beginning of their journey and those much further along. Those who are anxious, low in mood or exhausted both physically, mentally and emotionally.

Proverbs 12:25: Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.

Over the years I have learnt that I cannot cure people, but I have been nothing short of astounded at how taking just 5 minutes (although it can be longer!) to listen to someone’s fears and problems and the offer words of positive encouragement … even when there seems little to offer … can completely change a person’s outlook, reduce their anxiety, boost their confidence and help them to achieve what would previously have seemed impossible to them.

Proverbs 16:24: Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.

The bible is full of many wonderful examples of God constantly listening to his people and giving positive encouragement in both difficult and sometimes seemingly impossible times … Jonah, Daniel, Moses, Peter … to name but a few!

Isaiah 41:10: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” 

Joshua 1:9: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

It is, however, also full of those who were great encouragers themselves: Barnabas (known as the Son of Encouragement) encouraged the people to believe in God as the Apostles worked to spread the good news and grow the church; Paul encouraged the disciples to keep up their good work in Ephesus…

Over thousands of years people’s lives (and history) have been changed by these two very simple gestures… I believe that the Christian faith would not have continued and flourished without them. Sometimes positive encouragement may not come in the way we had hoped, but you can be assured that it is all in God’s amazing plan!

Hebrews 3:13: “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today’.“

So, in these uncertain times when some people are feeling isolated, alone and may not be coping as well as they usually might (and even for those who appear to be coping well, but may in fact be practicing their ‘swan’ impression), take 5 minutes to properly listen… and offer words or acts of positive encouragement… you will be amazed at the affect this has… both on you and the person on the receiving end!

2 Thessalonians: 1:17 May the Lord encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good work and word.

1 Thessalonians: 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Let God’s love shine!

(Image 1 by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay)

(Image 2 from jarofquotes.com)