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?