Showing others that you care doesn’t always come easy. It can be simple to dream up ideas on how you’ll show your faith to those around you, but actually acting on those ideas can be intimidating or just downright scary – and sometimes you don’t even know where to begin in the first place.
Showing that you care can take time, effort, and thoughtfulness, because it’s a deliberate action. It can be something as simple as praying for or listening to someone or something completely radical, but no matter what, caring about others takes the focus off of your world and puts the focus outward. And that is exactly what we are all called to do… love God and love others.
It may seem daunting, but there are some simple ways to start changing your focus and making a difference to someone else. Below, we’re breaking down 5 steps you can start taking to show someone you care when they’re going through a difficult situation. Dare to care!
- Be aware of those around you, and ask if it seems like something is wrong. You never know what direction someone’s day might be going in, and taking the time to be intentional and make sure that they’re okay could completely turn it around.
- Listen – really listen. The deliberate action of listening to someone else and what they’re going through is a huge lesson that we all need to learn, and a big step in being able to care for others well. Resist the urge to jump in, try to “fix” their problems or give any input. Just sit down, lean in, and listen.
- Validating emotions is key. We all want to be heard and understood by those around us, even if no one else is walking the same path we are. That’s why listening is so important. Listen to them when they’re sharing their trials with you, and then let them know that you hear them, you understand, and you care. Just those few words can make such an impact on the heart of someone else.
- Pray. Tell them you will pray for them, and then do just that! You can even pray with them before you leave the conversation. God knows the situation, so don’t worry about fancy words or making sure you say the right thing – just pray with confidence that He’s got this. And here’s a helpful tip: Set an alarm for the next day or later that week so you can remember to pray for them again.
- Follow up. Following up is the crescendo of caring because when you show that you remember someone’s struggles, you are saying, “I heard you, I understood you, I prayed for you, I CARE”. Following up with someone can take many forms from a simple text message to a lunch or coffee date to a simple card in the mailbox arriving ‘at the perfect time’!