Have you ever been to a funeral or memorial service where people share something along the lines of “I didn’t say this often enough, but I loved them,” “I regret not ever telling them how much they meant to me,” or “Now I wish I had the chance to make things right between us”? Those comments always break my heart. It is so easy to let time slip by without telling our loved ones how much they mean to us. I am guilty of that too.
I have made it one of my goals to “appreciate” the people whom I appreciate. I have found that giving genuine encouragement is surprisingly and unfortunately awkward in our culture. Our verbal encouragement skills are left unpracticed as well as our compliment-receiving skills. Because, let’s be honest, it is difficult to actually receive praise in a humble and thankful way.
I have been blessed with some friends who are gifted with the ability to encourage. They have taught me both how to speak truth and blessing into others’ lives and have helped me learn that humbly accepting the compliment is actually a gift to the encourager.
What if instead of an expensive birthday present, we wrote a thoughtful card explaining all the positive character qualities we see in the person? Or if we had an open mic “memorial service” for someone who was alive so that they may hear how their life has impacted those around them? Let’s reverse the cultural trend of being awkward about encouraging. Please? It will take a movement, but it’s already underway. Won’t you join me in encouraging loved ones? Do not waste an opportunity to speak life into your family, friends, coworkers, even strangers. Let’s not wait until it’s too late. Let’s celebrate life now. 🙂