Same thing…right? No. We’ve been going over the top ten emotional needs and what separates them from the others. Very often there are two that seem to be the same. The first time we went over a very similar two needs was approval/acceptance. Today, it’s support and encouragement.
My brother had launched his ministry The Blessing Board (basically a free Craig’s List, you have furniture/kitchen stuff that you don’t need? He takes it. You need furniture/kitchen stuff? He gives it). It was wildly successful and he was getting to share the Gospel (ok, that’s the “catch”, you get to hear about Jesus when you get a house full of free furniture) with all kinds of people. There was one other cost associated with the ministry…he was working himself down to the nub.
I noticed that there was a need for a little organizational structure change that could really help him and stabilize the ministry. Yet, how to proceed? My bro is a man’s man and knows his stuff. I wasn’t so sure that he would take kindly to his little bro giving him ideas. Me being me I went ahead and typed up one page of ideas on how to streamline and simplify his operations. With one eye closed I emailed it to him.
About a week later he and I were speaking and he brought up the email. He began to tell me how everyone…everyone was excited about the ministry. He told me that tons of people gave him an “attaboy” and “go get em’s” and encouraged him to do x,y,z to make it better. However, I was the one person who actually took the time to get “in there” with him and try to make things less burdensome for him.
You see, he had tons of encouragement…but very little support at the time. (For the hundreds of you who have been a part of The Blessing Board please note that this was at the very beginning when he was a one man show. You have blessed…The Blessing Board greatly with your support).
Quite simply, encouragement is verbal. According to the Center for Relational Care it is: urging another to persist and persevere toward a goal; stimulating toward love and good deeds, particularly when someone is weary. (I Thessalonians 5:11; Hebrews 10:24).
However, they list support as: coming alongside and gently helping with a problem or struggle; providing appropriate assistance. (Galatians 6:2). In Jay speak, “Support includes doing.”
Please remember, different needs have different characteristics and are…needed differently by each individual. My bro didn’t need more encouragement. He needed help. Please notice, was I a ton of help? Well, no. Yet, by simply entering his world and joining him in his fight he had a huge need quenched for a spell (until the real help arrived). Perhaps your needs are the exact opposite. You don’t want anyone supporting you and trying to help you do your work/achieve your goals. The thought of it alone may make you uncomfortable and queasy. Yet, for some people to give you an “atta boy” or “you can do it girl” would mean the world to you. Perhaps, you simply need to be left completely alone and have no need or want for either. That’s fine too.
We are all made differently and have different needs. The burden I have is that we know what our needs are, how to communicate them to others, and to get them met. We will then be so much better at meeting others needs. Then, many much more good things can happen.