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A Fitting Reply

4 Steps to Be an Encourager

Learn how to help others grow through thoughtful encouragement.

Congenial conversation—what a pleasure! 

The right word at the right time—beautiful!

Proverbs 15:23 MSG

To make an apt answer is a joy to a man,

and a word in season, how good it is!

Proverbs 15:23 ESV

Learn to Build Others Up in 4 Steps

The wisdom of what to say and how to say it is a difficult skill to master. But when you execute on this, you become a person who is an encourager and teacher — a builder of others. You inspire those around you and you experience joy in touching others in profound ways. So how do you learn this skill?

Pay attention to the moment. Be calm and patient. 

1. Be Quiet

The first thing I had to learn was not to say anything. Some people need to be more verbal, but that is not me. I have something to say about almost anything. It is just the way my mind works.

I can fall into the trap of thinking I have a fitting reply for nearly everything. I get into trouble for disclosing too much. Learning to be quiet and let others talk was a massive lesson for me, and I am still learning.

I have gotten a lot better. Sometimes just not saying anything is as apt a response as we can muster up. I can bring joy to others who may need air time and have something better to say than I do.

2. Listen 

The second step is listening well to the other person. What do they want to communicate and why is it important to them? You might say “getting” what others are saying is not so easy as it might appear.

3. Be Curious

Be genuinely interested in what others are saying. Ask questions to clarify your own understanding. Look them in the eye and repeat back what you have heard. Ask if you have understood them. Be empathetic. 

4. Thing & Pray

Think and pray for the right words for them. 

The right words are always accurate. No lie can be a good thing to say. Lies can not create joy, even little white lies.

The tone of how you share is every bit as important as the content. Speak the truth in love. Speak softly and slowly.

Right words always build others up, never tear them down.

Don’t give advice unless you are asked for it. Answers, before there are questions, do one’s soul great harm.

Henri Nouwen

When you share the right words, your influence will grow. When you share the right words, your friendships will develop. When you share the right words, others will be built up. 

It is part of how God gets His work done!

Peace be with you.

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Bob Lonac

About Bob Lonac

Today, friends call me a leader of leaders. But this wasn’t always the case.

During my life of working in faith-based, Christ-centered ministry, relationships have proved to be the common thread. My passion is helping other people grow through one-on-one mentoring and small group training. I love building teams. I love seeing people and organizations succeed. You can read more about my story and what I'm doing now.

I am still learning a lot and it would be fantastic to share this journey with you! If you haven’t yet, sign up for my email newsletter so we can stay connected.