A few weeks ago on Sunday morning I shared practical ways Christians show grace. Christians, let’s be generous with grace. But this creates a problem. Let me explain. Many of us feel left in a lurch because we are tapped out of resources from which to be generous. You may be out of time, money, or energy. So how do we grow more generous, more gracious? Even those of us low on resources are loquacious enough to be generous with words.
Use words to show grace. If you have time to complain, you have time to affirm. If a job requires you to grade, correct, or evaluate others, give equal attention to encouraging. If you have time to tweet or post, do it to praise, thank, and honor.
Sam Crabtree wrote a book about practicing affirmation. You can purchase the Kindle edition HERE. Crabtree describes it, “Affirmation is like an invigorating sudsy shower after a long day of manual labor. It’s like a cool rain after a long, hot dry spell. It delivers a combination of relief, respite, hope, optimism, satisfaction, and energy. It’s life-giving. It blesses” (p. 40). In chapter nine, Crabtree offers 100 affirmation ideas for those who feel stuck. Here’s a top ten:
1. Tell your spouse, “I chose you, and I still do.”
2. Loan something of value (book, tool, car, etc.). Take the risk to show you value someone’s trustworthiness.
3. Quote someone positively in their presence.
4. Ask for advice. Act on it, and tell the advice giver how it turned out.
5. Write a Bible verse like Hebrews 12:1 on a notecard. Send it to someone, adding, “I think you do better at this than I do.”
6. When a person changes your mind, commend them for their persuasiveness.
7. Before a meeting begins commend someone present for a random, positive quality.
8. Write a hand-written note of praise to a child. Add stickers.
9. Say, “I thank God for you…” and fill in a reason.
10. Literally applaud when someone blesses you.
- Pastor Michael Wilburn