“We have different gifts according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is… encouraging, let him encourage.” ~Romans 12:6-8

When brothers or sisters in our community of faith are hurting, the greatest grace we can offer is comfort or encouragement in the middle of whatever it is they are suffering. A person doesn’t need advice or correction or rebuke in the middle of pain. And he doesn’t need empty words. What he needs is the freedom you give him to crawl inside a hug and feel the embrace of our God. When we’re in pain, we need others to just listen, to just be present. We need friends and family to listen to our grief and fears, to help us sort everything out, and to encourage us not to lose hope.

Think today about the people who have touched your life with this gift of grace. Maybe you’ve experienced some special comforting lately. Perhaps today is a good day to thank them for the wonderful ways they’ve been a vessel of God’s mercy and care.

Or maybe this is one of your stronger spiritual gifts. Maybe today is the perfect day to assess the needs of the people around you. Take a few minutes today to discover who might need your encouragement in their struggles. And then bless them with the mercies of their heavenly Father who lavishly pours out his gifts on his children.