9 ways to comfort others

When was the last time you sought an opportunity to comfort someone in need? Most of the time we are so busy with our lives that we just don’t notice others. We may notice if our friend’s outfit is in fashion.  We may notice their state of their vehicle. We may take note of the cleanliness of their home. We may notice surface things like that…but do we REALLY notice them? The state of their well-being, the expression of sheer exhaustion, the tired eyes that say so much more than they ever will – these are things that we should look for!

comfort others

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Family & friends deserve notice!

Family and friends that you truly care for deserve to be noticed – and much more than a surface glance. We are all each other has! If we don’t take the initiate to encourage and comfort others, who will do it?

We all know that when hard times come, we keep things inside. { Of course some are screamers who shout to the world their problems. But on the whole, we don’t always broadcast our failures, setbacks or disappointments.} Sometimes it takes a keen eye to notice and realize someone is in need. Those closest to us deserve to be kept track of, analyzed {in a good way!}, prayed for and comforted! Yes, it does take some work, but if we care for them, it won’t be such a bother.

Comforting others is selfless.

Looking for ways to comfort others is a great practice! It takes the focus off of ourselves. It forces us to serve others. Some family and friends are easier than others. You’ll have some who are easy to read and you’ll be able to tell right away when something is wrong. Some shout to the world their problems and you won’t miss their cry for help. Some retreat from the world and are silent when hard times come. Whatever personality those closest to you have, it’s up to you to discover what that is so that you are able to help. How do you discover when someone needs you?

9 ways to comfort others:

1. Be available.

In our busy world of technology, fast food, time-saving devices {do they really save us that much time?} and distractions, being available {in the fullest sense of the word} is rare. Even when I’m talking to people, they are checking their phones, their eyes flit here and there and they are not committed to the conversation. You can tell they’re planning what they are going to say next. You know how much you dislike that? Don’t be like to others! Focus and commit to whomever you’re speaking.

When a friend calls and you can tell something is wrong, make time for them! When someone waves you down in the church parking lot wanting to speak with you, don’t run off! Just be there for people.

2. Notice others.

It’s easy to get so entrenched in our own plans that when we go out to church, the grocery store, a birthday party that we don’t notice others. We have our agenda and we are focused on the task at hand. But next time, take time to look around at people. Your friends and family that you’re sitting beside, talk to them, ask questions, notice their facial expressions.

3. Lend an ear.

Hear people when they speak. Many times people won’t come right out and tell you that they’ve had a setback or disappointment. You have to read between the lines. You must listen! That’s honestly a rare thing in conversation these days. People interrupt, get distracted with phones and other people and you’re not often given attention. When you’re speaking with someone, lend an ear! If you sense someone needs to chat, lend an ear.

4. Use Scripture.

When you do realize that someone is disappointed, depressed and struggling, use Scripture to encourage and comfort. Oftentimes, you may have no idea what to say to help because maybe you’ve not been down that road before. But Scripture can always touch the heart.

5. Offer help.

Many times when we realize some is struggling, we are sympathetic. We may chat with them for a while and listen. We may pray for them. All of those are great things! But go the extra mile and offer help. Depending on the situation, help may be exactly what the individual needs.

It seems like “no brainer” to offer help, but how many of us actually do offer? We may think of it, but talk ourselves out of it because we are so busy. We may assume the individual would be offended. We may think that someone else will offer. But if everyone thinks that way, what happens to those in need?

6. Encourage.

Encouragement can come in many forms. A listening ear, a timely note of care, a bag of groceries, a babysitting offer for a night, a book on the subject they are struggling with: all of these are great ideas to encourage those in need. But don’t just think about it; do it!

7. Act on impulse.

I’ve found that acting on impulse is a good thing sometimes! When I hear of someone in need, my response is a sympathetic one. Sometimes an idea pops into my head of how I could help. The impulsive idea of buying a book for someone who needs special encouragement or giving a certain amount of money to someone is a generous, kind and thoughtful idea. Those impulses are great if you are able to follow through.  Those impulses are probably not coming from Satan. I believe that God uses people to encourage and comfort others. And I believe that God puts ideas in our heart. So act on those good impulses if you are able!

8. Write a note.

I love getting a hand-written note! Although rare in our world today, I think it adds a personal touch and it sends a message of love with it! Take the time to write a note of encouragement to those in need. When I’ve received such notes, it brightens a day like nothing else! Someone cared to take the time to write me a note!

9. Continue reaching.

So you’ve recognized a friend in need. You’ve written a note of encouragement and offered help. Fabulous! Now don’t forget about them! People’s troubles don’t often leave the moment someone shows kindness to them. It could be a great hurt and loss for the person, so continue reaching out to them!

In what ways have you comforted others?

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