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Monday, August 18, 2014

Small, Thoughtful Gestures Make a Big Difference

In review of Thessalonians 5:14 it says, “Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone.”

Bottom Line:
Warn those who are idle or lazy.  Encourage those who feel left out, are frightened, or timid. Help all those who are weak and be patient with all.

What this means to me:
I am urged to warn those who are idle. I am to encourage those who are left out, frightened or timid. I’m to help all those who are weak. Overall, I am to be patient with all. When ministering to a friend, I should not only give my physical presence but also my practical assistance. This means I should do whatever needs to be done to help them in small by practical ways. I’m reminded this morning in my study from Rick Warren that this is even more important for someone who is dying or is experience an impending death in their close family Somebody who is dying usually doesn’t feel good. They are often in pain. I can give comfort by attending to the small things that could make a big difference. Do they want the lights on or off? Can I get some ice chips? I show love by offering practical assistance to relieve pain and discomfort. Also, I shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions or afraid to suggest things. The Bible says, “Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone” (1 Thessalonians 5:14 NLT). When people are in pain, they don’t feel happy. When people are dying, they often get cranky because they don’t feel well. I can show compassion by cutting them some slack and extending kindness and patience to them. This is important, because another one of the fears that people have when they’re dying is the fear of losing control. First they couldn’t drive. Now they can’t walk or get out of bed or use the bathroom on their own. I can minister to people who are dying simply by being aware of their needs but also giving them choices in how those needs are addressed. Every time I give them a choice, I give control back to them. Sometimes the smallest gesture or thoughtful assistance can make the biggest impact on someone who is facing death. My presence is a ministry in itself, and so is my compassion through practical assistance.