How to encourage a friend when you can’t see them in person
Show love from a safe social distance!
The ongoing spread of coronavirus means that most of us are currently unable to see our friends… which, let’s be honest, is the worst!
There are a lot of lonely, despondent people out there who really need some encouragement and love right now, so we’ve put together some ideas to help you encourage and support your friends even when you can’t see them in person.
Together, we can practically show the love of God at this difficult time.
Write a letter
Letter writing is somewhat of a lost art, but it’s a beautiful way to express that you care about someone, because it takes much more time and effort than just sending a text or Facebook message.
Grab your fanciest paper, coloured pens and write a letter to a friend that shares words of encouragement, joy and hope. Keep it light and focus on the future. Then pop it in the mailbox and know that you’ve put a big smile on their face.
Study the Bible together
We Christians struggle particularly with being separated from each other, because we are normally together at least once a week, and often more! So if you have a lonely Christian friend, maybe you could try and recreate some of the normal routines you would have.
Fervr has some great suggestions for youth groups moving online that you could adapt to a one-on-one meeting – including using the YouVersion Bible app to do a Bible reading plan together.
Share prayer points
If you’re feeling anxious about COVID-19, chances are you aren’t alone. Your friends are probably also really worried and scared right now. But God has this to say in Psalm 55:22:
Cast your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken.
How do we cast out cares on the Lord? We pray! And prayer is even better when we do it together. So share prayer points with your friends via text, a messaging service or over video chat, and ask how you can be praying for them.
God has given us all unique gifts we can use to build up the church (1 Corinthians 12), and just because we aren’t meeting in person doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be using our gifts to encourage others!
How could you use your gifts to encourage a friend? Perhaps you could try…
- Writing or recording a happy song, or rewriting a classic hymn
- Painting or drawing an uplifting Bible verse
- Making a collage or video of photos of you two
- Baking cookies and delivering them to your friend’s doorstep (if this is allowed in your location)
- Choreographing a workout routine to do together
- Planning an exciting outing to take when this is all over
Share your creative ideas for encouraging friends in the comments!
Make them smile
Right now, it can be hard to find reasons to smile. Make it your mission to put a smile on someone else’s face.
My mum is doing this right now by sharing funny videos and pictures on her Facebook page. Maybe you could find things to tag your friends in that you think they would like, or just send them a funny message. They will definitely appreciate your efforts to make them happy!
This is a difficult time for all of us, but it’s also an opportunity to show love to your friends and be the hands of Jesus to them. So make sure you’re encouraging your friends even when you can’t meet in person!