Just sending a Big HUG!

Just sending a big Hug to whoever may need one right now.

Hugs! Hugs! Hugs!

These wonderful things come with several different emotions and even health benefits!

How many of us have noticed that embracing others seems to be a natural emotion in some situations?

· When someone is the winner of a game or contest-cheers and hugging ensue!

· When a child falls down and hurts himself, holding and hugging him gives comfort.

· After a long period of time has passed and people are reunited, open arms reach and envelop each other with joy.

The list of reasons that human beings hug each other could go on and on. Healthy touch is an important part of our interaction with others. This form of communication is a non-verbal expression to show we care.

Science has even weighed in on some of the benefits of hugging:

· Hugging releases endorphins, which helps soothe the pain.

· It helps with relaxation and can reduce bodily tension.

· Hugs help lift a person’s mood and can even bring some relief to the symptoms of depression.

As a giver of hugs:

All of us will encounter others who simply need to know someone cares. Let these scriptures remind us of our calling and our commitment to care:

· Galatians 6:2: “Bear one another burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

· Ephesians 4:32: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

Sometimes the problems in life get heavy and weigh us down. Sometimes our inward struggle with the weight of our problems causes us to act out of character. As fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord, the Word tells us to forgive each other and to share each other’s burdens. Being a listening ear, an encouraging voice and a helping hand can make a great difference in the life of someone who is hurting.

People all around us are dealing with loneliness, depression, illness, divorce, the loss of loved ones, the uncertainty of a job situation, and more. Caring about others is never wasted.

The message of Christ includes compassion.

· Mark 6:34: “When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd...”

· Colossians 3:12-13: “Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”

We must have forgiveness and compassion. Compassion for the hurting. Compassion for the lost. Compassion for those who have no one to show them the way.

Beyond showing compassion, let us remember to show joy and excitement with others over the many celebrations in life, accomplishments, and just because we love and appreciate those who are in our lives.

In blessing others with love, support, and hugs, we in return are blessed to be a part of what they need.

As a receiver of hugs:

Many of us are carrying burdens ourselves, and as the Lord instructs us to be compassionate, He instructs others to feel that way toward us.

Let us remember to accept love and comfort from others. Listen! Every person experiences hardships and difficulties. Christians and non-believers. Good people and people with evil intentions. Blessed people, and those who haven’t yet met the Savior. It is a part of life and being a human being.

Let us set aside any pride that would cause us to reject the care and compassion of others when our own hearts are hurting. There is no shame in having problems. However, it is sad if we insist on carrying our heavy load without allowing others to walk beside us and offer comfort. And maybe even a helping hand.

· Proverbs 11:25: “Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.”

When we still can’t seem to let others in, let us remember our own efforts to help others, and how it blesses us. We might just be stealing a blessing from those who want to bless us.

We need each other, and healthy relationships give and take. We can’t forget to let others laugh, cry, and celebrate with us. And hugs from loved ones make every situation better.

Who needs a hug from us today?

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