Encouragers I know and 7 ideas for being one

When I think of encouragers, the first people who come to mind probably don’t have any idea how much good they do. Let me introduce you to a few of them.

Barbara, Sandy, Lenora, and Diana post beautiful flowers and nature scenes on social media. Many of these include Bible verses or positive messages.

Ellen types a Bible verse and just leaves it there for people to think about.

Maribel posts a series of ladies’ Bible studies in Spanish, free and accessible.

Karen, Adam, and Holly are my funny friends. They put clean, wholesome comics, personal experiences, and hilarious faux pas out there for everyone to laugh at. Holly poses for selfies, where she dresses up as an animal, usually using only a change of hair and facial expression, displaying the inspiring animal photo beside her. Adam posts Far Side comics, which have something to do with real life at the moment. They’re wry humor, but more than once I’ve laughed out loud.

Tim, Jess, Barbara, Patti, and Jonathan write thoughtful, helpful, and edifying blogs. They always encourage me in some aspect of my walk with the Lord.

Lisa, Vicki, Luba, Patti, and Ruth take pictures when they’re out on walks. They find beauty wherever they go.

And, there are those people who make the most of any situation. Ester and her family held a special picnic on their tiny balcony—since they can’t leave home during the quarantine.

These are some of the real people who make my day.

How can you encourage others?

Your choice will depend upon your particular personality, familiarity with technology, and talents. Let me offer some ideas. Since we can’t leave the house these weeks, I’ll try to make these practical for now. Maybe some of these will spark you into adding some sparkle to your online presence.

  1. Spread the Word. Think of different ways to share Bible verses, thoughts, and messages (maybe your church’s streaming) with your friends.
  2. Share happiness. I guess it’s obvious, but just in case: happiness means happy news, positive thoughts, and pretty things. What makes you happy? You can start there. Think of options like: memes, photography, quotations, poems, sayings, praise verses.
  3. Show beauty. This means sharing God’s glorious creation, a beautiful garden, any scene from nature, your pet being cute, a lovely family photo, colorful travel scene—anything that will inspire others to smile.
  4. Write about themes that are appropriate today. I had a few blog posts all ready to go about subjects that were rather dark and serious. I’ve put them off for at least a few months. Today, people need peace, security, laughter, and of course, the gospel of salvation. Write about Truth. By the way, the Psalms are a wonderful place in which to dwell for these few weeks.
  5. Play music for others. I don’t think you have to be Pavarotti to sing or Van Cliburn in order to play the piano. However, I do prefer that the musician on social media would display at least a minimal level of proficiency. Don’t post your kid singing along with a howling dog, for example–even if they’re both cute. I can hear that in a back alley. Share music that uplifts the spirit, especially Christian music, encouraging the soul. Last week, one of my friends shared Ethel Waters singing, “His Eye is on the Sparrow.” Brought a happy tear to my eye.
  6. Share clean humor. The Bible says, A merry heart doeth good like a medicine (Proverbs 17:22a). If it’s funny to you, it’ll probably provide a chuckle for someone else.
  7. Avoid negative stuff. Especially now, when much of the world is quarantined at home, we don’t need to hear about deaths* (*unless in your family. We want to pray with you and for you.), accidents,* the virus,* murders, and horrors. I personally don’t enjoy reading about those things at any time, but now is the time to encourage. Avoid the rottenness, and present Truth, beauty, fun, and happy.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things (Philippians 4:8).

Be an encourager today!

For more articles about encouragers, consider these: Joses Barnabas, the Encourager, here, and Five Ways to Encourage Others Using Social Media, here.

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