I’ve always said that my love language is quality time, it is, but words of affirmation comes in a close second. No matter what someone’s love language may be, I think they can always be encouraged. So frequently, I feel like I should encourage someone, but I don’t know how they are going to respond, or if they might think that it’s weird coming from me. Sometimes, I feel like I say nice things a lot and someone may interpret a compliment as generic or not authentic. It is such a shame because I’ve missed out on the chance to show some love to people all because I was afraid of what they may think.
Everyone can benefit from encouragement. It is silly of me to think that I can only encourage people who I’m a good friend with, or that a person’s love language must be words of affirmation in order for them to enjoy a compliment. In Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, he says, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing” (1 Thes 5:11). Paul doesn’t quantify this by saying – only encourage people of the same sex as you, nor does he give specific instructions for how to encourage – he just says to build each other up, in other words, point each other towards Jesus. Paul says to encourage one another because he knows that we are all members of the Body, and unity and positive reinforcement are important. No matter what a person love language, they could be pointed towards Christ.
It is important to encourage one another because when we love others, we love God. When we live as hermits or don’t allow God to use us to love others, we do not love God well. I love the moments when I say something to someone that I was cautious to say, but God totally uses it and the person is really affected by it. Getting random acts of encouragement also make my day. It is important to encourage others because we often see things in other people that they may not see in themselves – thus the Lord calls us to live in community. God is a member of the trinity because there are roles only God the Father can play, roles only the Holy Spirit can play and same for Jesus Christ. Just as God is in community with Himself, we called to be in community. Community is meant for encouragement and for loving each other, and most importantly to reflect the love of God. So, allow God to speak through you and encourage someone – you never know, it might just make their day!