I'm not called The Organized Christian for a reason, people. But I'm trying!
Tyler is a clever gal with a beautiful blog called Titus 2:3-5. If you'd like to know what those verses are, here you go:
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
That's a lot to live up to. But if anyone can do it, it's Tyler. She's a writer, speaker, and women's ministry leader, and she still manages to raise five kids. I can't imagine how she does it—or that she could possibly have a lazy bone in her body! Read this awesome post, then be sure to go check out her blog and follow her on Twitter!
Five Lazy Ways to Be an Encourager
Encouragement is not one of my spiritual gifts.
Cheering others on, making them feel good about themselves and their contribution, lifting peoples’ spirits—these things are not my forte. No surprise, really, because I’m not a “words of encouragement” girl. I’m more an “acts of service” kinda gal.*
For a long time I used this as an excuse to do nothing. I let many opportunities to encourage someone slip past unacknowledged. Unbeknownst to the younger me, encouraging others is an integral part of being a leader, and leadership is one of my spiritual gifts. (Oh, the irony!)
We all have people to lead in some capacity, therefore we all need to figure out how to be encouragers. So if encouraging others doesn't come naturally to you, try these pointers. I promise, they’re not hard work at all!
1. Be prepared.
Stock up on blank cards and keep them in several handy places (your office, your home, your purse or gym bag, your glove box). If someone crosses your mind, take two minutes right then and there to jot a quick note.
Don't forget to deliver it or drop it in the mail! The longer you put this step off, the more likely you are to forget. (Personal experience speaking here—Christmas cards mailed at Easter.)
2. Connect on social media.
Those of us who use Facebook or Twitter are on there virtually every day, and it takes no more than 30 seconds to leave a little note on someone’s wall or send a DM.
3. Take two minutes longer.
Make a habit of the "two minute longer" conversation. Too often we pass by one another and breeze through the standard chatter:
Hi, how are you?
Oh good! And you?
I'm good, too. Thanks.
This type of exchange is fine for casual acquaintances, but when it comes to people we spend time with regularly, small talk may across as unfeeling and uncaring. And your people want to be cared for! Instead, stop, look the person in the eyes, and genuinely ask a question that directly relates to his or her life. For example, if you know the family was away at a soccer tournament last weekend, ask how the team did.
While others may never know you've been praying for them, the very act of lifting them and their needs up to God grows a heart connection between you. Praying for others helps you to be more concerned with their needs, keeps them in your mind, and causes you to feel a deeper love for them.
5. Watch your words.
When you speak of others, speak only good—it will get back to them. When you speak to others, express appreciation for who they are and what they do. Sometimes a simple, “Thanks for being you” is enough to change a person’s day.
Whether you’re the leader at work or in ministry, the leader of your home, your children, or within your group of friends and acquaintances, the people around you need to feel valued and appreciated. If you are a leader in any capacity, learning to encourage those you lead is key.
And, frankly, you can still be an encourager and be lazy (like me). All the better!
*From Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages.
© Tyler Rowan 2011