About the Author

Kristen Strong, author of Back Roads to Belonging and Girl Meets Change, writes as a friend offering meaningful encouragement for each season of life so you can see it with hope instead of worry. She and her US Air Force veteran husband, David, have three children and live in Colorado...

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  1. Kristen,
    Having worked as a waitress eons ago, I know just how rude some customers can be. When someone was especially kind, it did have the power to turn my day around. I try to remember that as I go through my day and give people the benefit of the doubt. You don’t know if they are a struggling single parent, have a child with an incurable disease, barely paid the rent. I love the saying, “There are no strangers, only friends I haven’t met yet.” I think when I take this attitude, barriers begin to crumble and it does usher us into the presence of God when we offer kind words to another one of His children. Kristen, I can so see you offering kindness with words dipped in honey. Great post!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    ps. Won’t you join me at my first (in)courage post, “Are We There Yet” below….GIVEAWAY of an (in)courage devotional bible on my website!

    • Kristen & Bev, I’ve so enjoyed this article & have followed both of you on this website. I totally agree with encouraging people daily. I’m retired now & have two daughter-in-laws along with my own daughter & some other young friends that I’ll send these devotionals to daily. We never know, even at church, the trials our friends & strangers are facing. It’s so easy to just smile or give a hug to change someone’s day totally around. That may even turn into a friendship meeting weekly mentoring a young wife or even a friend our own age. When I was a young mom with three children under the age of 4 I was so busy taking care of them that I ended up neglecting myself. My husband encouraged me to join a Bible Study with free babysitting at our church & wow that one day a week made such a difference. I remember the first meeting I was so blessed I came home & made my husband a candlelight dinner to thank him for encouraging me. The woman who took care of the kids was like a sweet grandma to my children as well as a sweet friend to me. I come from a Jewish background & my family didn’t agree with my decision to follow Christ so they added a lot of stress & conflict to my life for many years. My husband & I wanted to be good witnesses to them so we continually responded in love but were so hurt many, many times. Eventually the relationship did get better but I never did see them come to faith in Christ. My brother is still living & I call him everyday (we live 230 miles apart) & can even share things I do with my church. I’ve learned to forgive even when they don’t ask for forgiveness & I pray that in their time before they died that they did accept Christ. My husband & I both had shared & they had even come to church with us. We had their only grandchildren & I know that held a lot of weight. Lord bless you both & thank you for your gift of words!!! Barbara

      • Barbara,
        We never truly know how our kind words, actions, and deeds may be planting seeds in others. We also don’t know how/when God will answer our prayers, but we DO know that prayers that invoke God’s Word and promises over others never return void. It sounds like you “preached the Gospel at all times,” and if necessary, used words 🙂 We can’t do any more than that. It is then up to the work of the Holy Spirit to take our words, prayers, and actions and convict hearts. Who knows who we may be thrilled to see in eternity because of our obedience. Oh, the mystery of God…thanks for your encouragement here today!
        Blessings,
        Bev xx

    • Bev, I can’t wait to check out your post! I LOVE having your words on the (in)courage site!! I also love the picture of ushering in God’s presence through our words. BEAUTIFUL. xo

  2. It seems so simple and yet being kind feels like something of the past. I love these words: your kindness could be the back road to someone else’s belonging.

    Beautiful reminder today for me to leave a smile wherever I go.

  3. Yes,
    I love to make people laugh as much as I can in some form or another.
    But I am not perfect all the time.
    Some days when I get scared or frustrated I say a few choice words.(under my breathe of course but I was told by a few close friends, people can hear me)
    But when other people say..Count it all joy and that we all go through hard days.
    Some people have worse problems then I do try to think of something silly or funny.
    I have really enjoyed in the last 4 yrs of trying to do random acts of kindness.
    My goal is to do 1 million acts but I am only at 805.
    Try this challenge and I know if I do my challenge then my problems don’t seem so bad.
    Yes laughter is good like a medicine.
    Surprise people is a lot of fun. Try it
    You might like it. I dare you!!

  4. Kristen, you painted a wonderful picture here of how Christians should interact with the world. Bravo! Often, when I’m out and about, I get a nudge from the Holy Spirit to reach out to someone. This encourages me to answer the call even more often. Thank you!

    • Yes! It also convicts me to make sure I’m representing well at all times, because heaven knows that isn’t always the case! Here’s to paying attention to those nudges!

  5. Kristen,

    I live by the motto: “No strangers, just people I haven’t met.” Each day I talk with housekeepers at the hospital & thank them for cleaning the rooms nicely. I have even become friends with the main one on my floor (5th at local hospital). I have her on a prayer list & learned to day that her son has health issues. My job also offers the blessing to chat with patients’ families. Often times I will tell them I’m praying for you. Always try to smile at everyone & say hello. Wanting to water their spirits & lift them up. Working or being in a hospital is no fun. We can all use some joy & spirit lifting. It takes so little to make someone’s day. Just being polite & encouraging goes a long way. My co-workers have lifted my spirits in a way that make me feel like I belong there. I feel as though I fit in & have made good friends.

    Blessings 🙂

  6. What a lovely reading. We as Christian are to do what Jesus would want us to do. In that Children song. I often sang it as child in Sunday School when we. Jesus hands were kind hands doing good too all. Jesus would want us to be kind to all. We have to watch our words as they can either tear a person down or brighten their day. We have to say before we say or do anything what would Jesus do. For short W.W.J.D. As a old friend of mind infact she is about 30 years older than me. Now in Glory. Tought me this Bidden or not Bibben God is watching. So if we want to be the hands and feet of Jesus we have to remember that Bidden or not Bibben God is watching everything we say and do. It is nicer to say a kind word than be nasty. If nothing good to say. Say nothing at all. The lady that taught be that saying also said don’t talk about thoes people do what God would want you too do that is pray for them if not got anything good to say about them. She was so right. How today when she is not here that her words ring in my heart too me. Also it sadness me the amount of kids who don’t say please or thank you or respect their elders. Please and Thank you go along way to people. They are not hard to say. Especially when you by or give them a present. If don’t like it you get is that it. I had especially for their Birthday. I sad nothing than have a row with then. I thought to myself there are kids in our world who have nothing who love that present. I just quitely pray for them. But it sad. I do like manners and kindness and a smile. If someone need the door open in a shop I do it. Be the hand and feet of Jesus do as Jesus would want us to do. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little