We all have at least one person that we can always count on to say just the right thing when we are down and out. Chances are, it’s the first person you think of when you need prayer or counsel. You consider them to be rock solid and faithful. You can count on them to be there when you need them most and trust that they will keep your conversations confidential. And most importantly, when they say they are going to pray for you, they do.
Obviously your person has it all together and never has struggles of their own, that’s why you are drawn to them for guidance, right?
Of course the answer is no.
The problem is that we often tend to see them that way. We become so accustomed to seeking their help that we inadvertently overlook them when they are in the pit. It’s not that we don’t want to be there for them in the same capacity that they have been for us, we just feel inadequate to minister to them. After all, what could we possibly say to encourage the one who we look to for spiritual wisdom?
Who is your person?
- Your pastor or their spouse
- Mom or Dad
- Your spouse
- Your BFF: Best Friend Forever not Big Fat Friend (sorry, couldn’t resist one of my fav movie references)
If it’s your pastor or his/her spouse, just think for a moment how many others likely have the same “it” person. Can you even imagine how many counseling sessions they do or the number of prayer requests they must receive in a day? And this is how it should be, they are spiritual leaders. But even so, they need prayer too, probably even more so than some of those they are praying for! Because of the tireless work they do for the Lord, it places a “most wanted” sign on their back for the devil. They are vulnerable and subject to attack, same as you and me.
Mom & Dad…well they worry about you anyway, it’s part of the job description. I am a grown woman and still want to run to my Momma when my world gets turned upside down. They are our safety net. Sometimes they have troubles and try to hide them from us because they don’t want to burden their children.
Husbands & wives automatically bear one another’s burdens, or at least they should. I have been know to unload on my man the minute he hits the door in the evenings. Maybe he’s had a rough day too but he keeps his worries and struggles to himself because he doesn’t want to put more on my already full plate.
Best friends are very often on the receiving end of our loaded gun. They know us well, sometimes better than we know ourselves, and we know we can spew it all out and they’ll totally understand. May I be blunt? Don’t be the friend who monopolizes all of the talk time in the relationship. Yes, your friend is an awesome listener, full of sound advice and love for you but don’t let their silent nod fool you into believing they have nothing to discuss themselves.
So how can you encourage the one who has lifted you up time after time? Give them a call with no agenda of your own, just to say “hey, how’s it going with you today?” then listen for indicators that their typical response of “I’m ok” is a farce. How about a card? Never underestimate the power of the written word. Technology has made hand-written notes a thing of the dark ages, but there’s something special about a tangible piece of paper that you can keep with you always. If you have a little spare time on your hands, see if they are free for coffee and give them the floor this time. Be creative. The key is to make them your priority because, yes, your encourager needs encouragement too.
“Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another”
(Romans 12:10 NKJV)