A pastor once wrote (I think it was Kent Hughes) about coming to understand his own need for encouragement, and how it moved him to write more affirming notes to his friends in the ministry. I can attest to the power of an affirming note (or, in today’s world, an affirming email). I started a “bad day” file sometime in the late 1970’s where I collected the few notes and cards from kids, parents, and others and I would revisit them on the darker days of ministry. I haven’t looked at them in a while since they are in storage in with the most of the rest of my ministry stuff. I do have a small collection of emails that I’ve save, and I have looked at them now and then, remembering that God has used me or my ministry in some lives.
I was reminded that lots of people could use encouragement. For example, just this week I thought of these:
- Most pastors and leaders seem to get far more critical notes and comments than they get encouraging ones
- I’ve talked to a number of unemployed men recently. Common threads in the discussion have been the sense that they have been forgotten, or that they have somehow become useless.
- There are a so many hard-working, committed, single parents who often feel like they are failing, no matter what evidence there might be to the contrary. Of course, a lot of married parents feel that way too!
- Or, how about the person in that minimum wage retail job whom everyone seems to think they can talk down to, now matter how well they do their work.
- And, how about all those people in assisted living homes. So many are lonely seem to be truly forgotten.
Most importantly, I’m reminded that it only takes a few minutes to jot off a note of encouragement to someone, or to just mention something we appreciate. A stamp is pretty inexpensive, email is even less.
Want to join me in encouraging someone each day this week?