Do you know where your local post office is?
How about the cost of a stamp?
When’s the last time you mailed a handwritten letter to someone?
Today I want to challenge you to find your local post office and mail a handwritten letter to someone. (Sure, you can spray it with perfume for kicks if you want!)
Why do I think this is so important? Here are 3 Epic Reasons to Encourage Others. This is why it’s so important.
Last week I shared 4 Ways to Encourage Others Without Even Trying. Today, though, I want to encourage you to be extra intentional about encouraging someone through a handwritten letter. So here are ten steps to writing an encouraging letter:
1. Plan ahead.
It won’t happen otherwise. Choose a regular time to write a letter or two. It could be each morning after you spend time with God, or every Sunday afternoon, or at the beginning of each month. And don’t miss the biggies. Does anyone have a birthday this month? (Don’t forget Father’s Day is this Sunday!)
2. Choose who you want to encourage.
Who is currently going through a rough time? Who did something recently that meant a lot to you? Who can you thank? Who is on your heart today? Who needs Jesus?
3. Examine your motives.
Why do you want to write them a letter? Are you puffing them up in order to get something out of them? Or . . . Why do you not want to write a letter to them? Are you jealous of them? Confess your sinful motives to God, and ask Him to purify your heart.
4. Pray for them.
Don’t just write a letter telling them that you will or you are praying for them—do it right then! There’s no greater, more powerful gift you can give someone than heartfelt, urgent prayer through Jesus to the Father.
5. Let them know you prayed for them.
Even let them know how you prayed for them. Something like, “I prayed that God would help you believe truth during this time, and hope in Him alone . . .”
6. Be specific.
So you appreciate them. But what specifically do you appreciate about them? So you’re grateful for them. Why? If they’re a believer, where do you see God’s grace in their life? How specifically do you see them looking more like Christ on a daily basis?
7. Share Scripture with them.
Romans 15:4 tells us that, “Whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” As believers in Christ, we—of all people—can offer lasting encouragement and hope. Don’t preach, but do point them to Christ and His promises. You don’t have to include a litany of verses; I’ve found that one power-packed verse goes a long way (Prov. 25:11).
8. Keep it short.
If your letter is pages and pages long, most people won’t read it. Short and sweet all the way, baby!
9. Handwrite it.
This isn’t necessary, but it’s definitely extra special. (FWIW: I usually write or type a rough draft ahead of time, so the actual card isn’t a mess.)
10. Invest in some cards and stamps.
If you don’t have the money, lined paper will do just fine. But if you can invest a few extra bucks into cards, it will go a long way in making others feel loved.
I buy the value pack of blank cards from Hobby Lobby and glue the fronts of cards people have given me onto them (I know, I know, just call me el cheapo!).
I like to keep a basket of cards, paper, envelopes, pens, scissors, and glue on hand so I can whip out a card on a moment’s notice. You might want to do the same.
Are you available to share God’s encouragement with others who desperately need it?
But don’t worry if you’re not artsy. This isn’t about making you look good. It doesn’t matter if your card is Pinterest-worthy. The main thing is: Are you available to share God’s encouragement with others who desperately need it?
Writing a letter isn’t the only way to encourage someone. But it sure is a great way to put into practice Philippians 2:1–5,
“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.”
At the beginning of this post, I asked if you knew where your local post office is. If not, you can find the nearest location here. And if you want to know how much a stamp costs, learn the answer here. I’ll even make it extra easy for one of you. Log on to the giveaway widget below, and then leave me a comment telling me who you will write your encouraging letter to. I’ll pick one of you to win a free pack of cards, stamps included! (But you’ll have to lick the envelope yourself!)