Encouraging and Supporting Your Friends – Was It Worth It?
Key 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.
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.