Encouraging in Little Ways

Steven Laman

READ : 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

While driving my wheelchair on the pedestrian overpass over the freeway, a homeless man strolled past me. As he walked by, he asked, “Do you know where the nearest recycling center is?” Hearing that I could not speak, he said, “Forget it, I’ll just ask someone else.” But I didn’t forget it. I thought about his question and remembered where a recycling center was in town. So, I got out my speech device and tried to give him directions. It was hard for him to figure out what I was saying. Looking confused, he finally said, “I’m sure you know what you are talking about, but I just can’t get it. I’ll find it. You have really encouraged me. God bless you.” Then he drifted out of sight.

Thinking back on that day, it surprised me that I was an encouragement to him. Sometimes we can encourage people without even thinking about it, but most of the time it takes a deliberate effort. Paul wrote that we should encourage one another and build each other up. Are we doing that? Do we take the time to write a cheerful note, make a friendly phone call or say a kind word?

Talking to the homeless man encouraged him, but it also made me feel wonderful. Let’s be on the lookout for little ways to encourage others. It will make their day, and ours as well.


Dear heavenly Father, give us an encouraging spirit to lift up other people. Through our encouraging words, may we spread Your love. In Your Son’s name. Amen.