This past week when I went to teach the ladies who work in Palliative Care, I taught on encouragement. I knew that since these ladies go out into their compound to help those who are very sick and confined to their homes, encouragement would be an important issue for us to talk about.
I started off by asking the ladies, “Have you ever known someone who believed in you, someone who frequently spoke words of encouragement and praise to you? The kind of person who made you feel you could do it, whatever “it” was?” I waited as they sat there and thought about that question. Except for one woman whose parents encouraged her, they all said, “No.” My heart was broken! How could these ladies not be able to think of one person who had encouraged them or believed in them?
As I think back on my life, I can name many people who have encouraged me along the way. Why should these ladies be any different? I explained that God wants us to be a person who encourages others every chance that we get–even if we have never felt that encouragement. The Bible says in Ephesians 4:29, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Then in 2 Corinthians 1:4 it says, “(God) comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received.“
These ladies have such a great opportunity to encourage the sick and dying in their compound. I asked them to think of ways they encourage their patients. Just visiting these patients is a great encouragement because sometimes even family members will not provide care for those who are sick. These caregivers also try to pray for their patients and help them in any way they can while they are in their home, including cleaning their house or making a meal.
As we finished up the lesson I had the women make a list of at least five people in their lives and write down something they could do that week to encourage each of the people listed. Next time we meet I’ll find out how their encouragement was received.
Prov. 3:27: “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act.” We are not to refuse mercy and kindness to others when it is in our power to do it. Who knows? Our demonstration of love toward people might result in their obedience to the gospel of Christ! Please pray for these women this week as they seek to encourage those they come in contact with.
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