It seems there are many opportunities for discouragement these days. So we should be looking for every opportunity to encourage one another.
I recently went to an AT&T store for an account issue that couldn't be resolved over the phone. I'm someone who tries to handle everything online, so having to go to the store was the last thing I had hoped for. As I'm grumbling to myself about this personal inconvenience, I had another thought, "Maybe this is an opportunity to encourage someone..."
An AT&T associate, a young lady, helped me resolve my account issue in about thirty minutes. When we were done, I thanked her for her help and asked her this question: "May I take a moment to encourage you?" After she replied "Ok" I said to her, "I want to encourage you today that God knows your name and He loves you. Not because of anything you've done, or because of anything you haven't done. He loves you because He chooses to love all of us. In fact, He loves you so much that He gave His Son Jesus to die so that you could know His love. I just felt like He wanted me to share that with you today." She thanked me for the encouragement and then I was on my way.
I want to encourage you today to encourage others. Use this question to begin a spiritual conversation, "May I take a moment to encourage you?" I suspect most people are welcoming encouragement, especially in the times we live in. Pray a blessing for them. Share a favorite scripture and what it means to you. Tell them a personal story that reveals God's love. Or simply tell them how much Jesus loves them.
Be courageous and put courage to work in the heart of others. I'd love to hear how it goes...