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Encouraging and Supporting Your Friends – Was It Worth It?

EncouraementKey Bible Verse:  When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours.  Romans 1:12

Bonus Reading:  Philemon 1:7

To encourage the guys in a Bible study I recently led, I telephoned each of them every week, asking how things were going and how I could pray for them.

One of the men was reticent on the phone, often answering my general questions with one or two words.  Our typical conversation lasted for only a minute or two.

Was he uncomfortable talking with me?  I wondered after each call.  Was I annoying him with my repeated phone calls?  Did he not even like me?  Perhaps I should just stop calling him.

Before making any decisions, though, I needed some expert advice.  I talked to my wife.

“I wouldn’t give up,” she said.  “Those calls probably mean more to him than you think.”

I took my wife’s advice and called that man again.  As usual, he shared little and offered no prayer requests.  As I began to wrap up another uncomfortable conversation, he said something that stunned me.

“Jon,” he said, “I just want you to know that I really appreciate your calls.  It’s encouraging to hear a friendly voice every week.”

With tears forming in my eyes, I thanked him for his kind words.  I hung up the phone and looked forward to calling him the following week.

—Jonathan Wakefield

 

My Response: How do I react when guys don’t seem to respond positively to my attempts to reach out and encourage them?

 

Thought to Apply:Q: How can you tell if a person needs encouragement? A: If they are breathing.” —Truett Cathy (founder of Chick-fil-A)

 

 

Prayer for the Week:  Dear Father, show me how to best encourage and challenge my friends to deeper faith; show me how to support them during their struggles.

 

 

 

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