Since it is a holiday, I'll be brief! I hope you have all had great days with your family and/or friends. We had a deep conversation about different types of toilet paper over our delicious meal. Bet you're sad to have missed out on that. Let me know if you need any recommendations.
In thinking about encouraging one another and how the five love languages can give us ideas, we find gift giving and acts of service on the list. The two are different, but similar. Giving someone a gift, at least from my perspective, is not that much different from doing something for them. That is, after all, a gift of help to them. Yesterday I talked about the helping part, so today it's GIVING.
How perfect that this post falls on ThanksGIVING! Cool, right? I didn't even plan that. We are spending today giving thanks to God for all His provision, protection, and love for us. And we can also think about ways we can give to others to encourage them.
Obviously a well-timed and carefully chosen present can encourage another. Love is communicated in the giving. There are other ways to encourage by giving, as well. Here are a few that come to mind:
Food Taking a meal to a grieving family, one who has just welcomed a new child, or is in transition can offer great encouragement and also builds relationships. It is incredible what a gift food can be! A friend of mine even brought me a fantastic snack bag at the hospital after our third was born. I have copied her gesture on several occasions. I mean, who doesn't want a Snickers when they're nourishing another human!
A Hug or a Hand Hold These are free and come to us with varying degrees of ease, but what a gift a hug can be. In some discouraging and sad seasons of life a hug offers both physical upholding as well as soul up-lifting. If you feel the urge to give someone a hug who sure seems to need it, go for it. Or ask if it's okay and then hug away if they say yes. We're not a touchy culture, but sometimes we need to break through that to offer encouragement.
Mission Support A final thought that I had on the "giving" encouragement front was monetary support to missionaries or people going on short-term mission trips. This can be an immense encouragement to those headed out to our on the front lines of ministry in challenging places on the globe. When offered the opportunity, give as you are able, and pray. You will certainly be an encouragement to the missionary with your generousity.
I am sure you can think of other ways that by giving you can encourage one another. These are the few that came to mind as I was considering the topic. I am reminded of a story in 2 Corinthians 8 about the poor churches of Madeconia bursting at the seams to be generous and to share with believers in other places. They were motivated by God's love for them. And Paul writes to the Corinthians,
Just as you excel in everything - in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness, and in your love for us - see that you also excel in this grace of giving. (8:7)
Let's excel in this grace of giving, friends: Giving thanks to God the Father on this Thanksgiving day and giving eagerly of all He has provided for us, in order to encourage one another!
Speaking of GIVING, don't forget to drop a comment if you want to be included in the giveaway!
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