Ambush-Style Encouragement

Surprise Gift001

When I encourage someone, I want it to be more of an ambush than an appointment.

Uncalled For, Unexpected

It can be a short handwritten note, an out of the blue lunch invitation, a sincere compliment, a phone call, an act of service, or a small gift.

Whatever your preferred method of delivery, let the encouragement be completely uncalled for and unexpected.

There is a Downside to Birthday Cards

Birthday cards, Christmas gifts, anniversary roses, etc. are necessary and can’t be overlooked (unless the people around you have different expectations than those around me). But they don’t achieve the meaning I’m looking for. Even at their best, they struggle to carry the full potential of encouragement. There’s an inevitable hint of “I know I had to do this anyway, but I really do mean it.”

No Smear of Obligation Dimming the Glow

The loving ambushes are more effective expressions of encouragement, care, affection, and support than other popular alternatives to out-of-the-blue displays of Christian love. They carry the message, “I did not have to do this, but I really do care about you.” There is no smear of obligation dimming their glow.

How do you encourage people? What’s your favored approach?

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3 thoughts on “Ambush-Style Encouragement

  1. I love giving a little gift if I can. However, I am really quick to offer up words of praise and encouragement when I see someone who deserves them.

  2. My language of love is service, so I usually encourage another by an act of service. It may be just a call or a note, or a service. I get great pleasure out of doing for others, & in return my cup is also filled.
    JOY = Jesus- Others- You. So often I am led to call or serve by the prompting of the HS who works over time on me. Often I am not as quick to respond as I should, but He is failthful to keep on speaking to me. Internet has been very helpful for me to send off a quick message that i am praying for you & so often I get a reply back of how much they needed my note & soon we get together. Thank you Lord for Your faithfulness even when I am not faithful. What amazes me the most is how often I do something I did not want to do & find my reward is greater than the one I served. You simply cannot out give or out do God.

  3. Hey Daniel, I love your comments on “loving ambushes”… I admit, when I read the title in my email, I was sort of thinking, ambushes? huh? 🙂

    I love giving little homemade things to people – they may not look as great as something store bought, but I have to take more time with it and often design it myself. Or, even if something is not homemade, I like giving things that are really special to me – like a really old hymn book I gave a friend that came from the small, country church I grew up in – it was old and very used, but it was extremely special to me, and I wanted her to know that she was so special to me that I wanted to share it with her. Other than material things like that: TIME! I hope I always give time to people that matter… time to listen, time to respond thoughtfully, time to really pray about whatever is concerning them, and concern/attention over a long span of time. Sometimes, healing or growth in a particular area takes months and years and I think people need to know that their friends and brothers and sisters in Christ will be there for them through the whole process.

    Just some ideas… thanks for reminding us that whatever we give to people needs to truly come from our hearts, hearts filled with the love of God.

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