This week is National Thinking of You Week (25th September – 1st October 2017) and we thought we’d take the opportunity to do a series of posts on the spiritual gift of encouragement, including some practical ideas for ways to encourage and bless your friends.
Today’s post features some easy ways to encourage your friends – some of them are super cheap and easy, and others cost a little bit more money or effort. All of them should make your friends feel truly loved and appreciated!
- Send a friend some flowers from Bloom and Wild with a note of appreciation. You can find at least 10-15% off your first Bloom & Wild order by searching Google for a discount code – bargain blooms, delivered the next day – what could be better?
- If your friend isn’t a cut-flowers fan, you could buy them a rainbow treat from The Happy Mail (the featured image of this post is the Fantasy Super Slab!) – there are SO many colourful treats on this website, it’s hard to choose a favourite. From bright sprinkles for decorating your bakes to biscuit-shaped sprinkle chocolate and mermaid chocolate slabs, there’s no way these hand-crafted goodies won’t bring some serious joy.
- On a similar theme of buying a friend a beautiful treat, The Lucky Dip Club has “Lucky Sock” and “Happy Pin” subscriptions as well as a range of one-off products in their shop which are all inspired by a love of colour and great design.
- Send someone you love an encouraging card or postcard in the mail. A second class stamp only costs 56p, and there are lots of cards featuring encouraging Bible verses and reminders of who we are in Jesus.
- Write your friend a letter telling them all your favourite things about them. This one will take a little bit more time, but once you start writing, you’ll find it hard to stop! If you want to add a little extra fun, you could fill the envelope with confetti or glitter (I once sent my best friend a cheese grater and a greetings card about Adam Levine in a box full of glitter, which she opened at 1am before texting me and asking me what on earth was going on – it’s a memory that still makes me laugh!).
- Make your friend an encouragement scrapbook featuring your favourite Bible verses, your favourite things about them, and some of your treasured memories. Tutorial coming later this week!
- Give out some of these affirming word badges: whether you know people who are brave, free, fierce, or loved, they’re great for pinning onto handbags, rucksacks, coats, and jumpers.
- Tell people the things you love about their character or personality – like how generous they were in a situation, or how brave they were to stand up for justice, or how committed to sharing Jesus they are even in the face of difficulties. (See if you can avoid anything that’s based on what they do or how they look.)
- Text someone you know and let them know you’re praying for them right now. Encourage them with a Bible verse that points them to Jesus! You could also share a quote from your favourite book, or a sermon or song that has impacted you.
- Print and cut out these free “I’m praying for you” cards, write a Bible verse on the back, and give them out to four of your friends.
Encouraging people in a practical way takes a little bit of time and energy, but it doesn’t have to be expensive as you can see from the ideas above. A small amount of thoughtfulness can go a long way to helping someone through a difficult time, and we’re called to encourage one another and build up the church – it’s good to regularly think about ways that we can point those around us to Jesus!
Do you have any favourite ways to encourage your friends and family? Share them with us below – we’d love to hear more ideas for how to bless and encourage people practically.
Tune in tomorrow for more on the spiritual gift of encouragement – we’ll be seeing what the Bible teaches us about encouraging others.