I’ve heard others echo this sentiment before as well, but it is incredible to me how starved humanity is for things like words of encouragement, ears to listen, knowing they aren’t alone, and transparent conversations.
I’ve seen this principle in others, and I’ve seen it in myself.
I’ve seen it in others through people I’ve met in almost 10 years of church ministry. I realized that, as long as I genuinely cared, little things like comments of encouragement or taking the time to listen built trust and meaningful friendships.
I’ve seen it in myself because I’ve been so desperate for those things while going most of my life knowing that something was wrong with me and not knowing until the last few years that I had Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, and PTSD from both sexual abuse and spiritual abuse. Sometimes I felt so lost and alone. I felt crazy. I still do sometimes. And sometimes, when that happens, it gets really serious really quickly. But someone speaking a kind and genuine word brought me peace. Like when they’d say, “you’re awesome, I love you,” or when they’d listen to me rant for way too long, or when they were real with me about their struggles or told me I’m not alone.
We often hear that one bad comment drowns out 100 good ones. Maybe there’s truth to that. I don’t know. All I know is that one good comment or action, even something small, is like a drop of water in the desert. We thirst for love and understanding. It’s part of being human.
Sometimes it’s awkward to step out of your comfort zone and tell someone something kind, or to listen to them for a while, or to be open to them about your struggles, or to tell them they aren’t alone. Sometimes people even take advantage of someone like that. Which hurts. But it’s worth it. Jesus shows us that it’s worth it to be someone who builds others up. This is Christ-likeness. This is love. And love fulfills God’s law (Matt. 5-7; Matt. 22; John 13; James 2; 1 John 3-4). – Jesse