One of my friends wrote, “I so appreciate your grace as I fumble through supporting you through this.” She wasn’t sure what the right thing to say or do was.
We can all relate.
We fumble. We’re unsure. And that’s okay. We don’t have to get into a rut of thinking we know exactly what will help. People are different, situations are different, how we should respond is different.
I find people who approach encouragement as if it is follows a how-to manual can seem cold and often miss the mark. Encouragement and accountability doesn’t fit into a chart that follows an “if/then” format. Online research can be helpful, but when we expect to find every solution of how to interact with others through an article, we’ll find we often offend or discourage someone with the very things we expected to help. I’m not saying we can’t find some excellent resources, but they should be used to supplement and enhance what is most important.
Engage with others. Listen well. Be humble.
Build relationships. Be flexible. Be generous.
When we invest in other people, and either of us fumbles, we work through it. We share our frustrations, forgive, and move forward. We grow as individuals and together.
None of us knows what to say and do all the time. Maybe that’s not the main point anyway.