Skip to main content

Encourage one another

So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. 
What does it mean to be encouraged? I have experienced the type of encouragement to say or do something that later I would regret, such as when someone "encouraged" me to eat dirt clods because it would show that I was "cool" and "fearless". I was encouraged to stay away from any drugs when I was coming through school, both by role models and those who loved me very much. We can be "encouraged" in many ways, but not all types of encouragement is really intended for our good, so we need to become wise in discerning when it is truly encouragement and when it is just unwise taunting or prodding.
Persuasion is rarely the type of encouragement God intends for each of us to engage in as brothers and sisters in Christ. Persuasion has a bit of manipulation behind it - either because we want something to go our way, or we want the other person to do something they really aren't all that keen on doing. The type of encouragement that benefits us is that which builds hope, bolsters our spirit, and gently inspires an element of courage to do what we know to be right, pure, and true. This is the type of encouragement we are to be working overtime to provide to each other in the Body of Christ. As believers, we are to bind together in this walk and to help each other not be overcome by things that will become our undoing in the end.
Encouragement stimulates one to grow. I overturn the soil in the garden around the roots of the plants, not because I want them to wilt and die, but because I want to aerate the soil, providing fresh pathways for nutrients to get to those roots. Encouragement that is centered in love and based on truth will stimulate us to take in what we need, give out what reveals we are alive, and reproduce what it is we have been given in immeasurable quantities. This is how we grow in Christ - by being "spurred on" to finish the race. There are times when encouragement takes on the actions that move us into the right course of actions, while there are others that help us to rest for a while and just get at that place of peace once again in our lives.
As we grow together in this "faith walk", we need to right kinds of encouragement in our lives. It isn't the manipulative type, nor the type that does it with a big stick or cattle prod kind of action. It is the type that energizes us from within, helping us to tap into the limitless resources of grace we have been given. It helps us move beyond issues of comparing one's self to another by helping us to be grateful for the value we have in Christ. It doesn't label us as "good" or "not good enough", but instead calls us out as the beloved of the Most High God, set apart for his special favor and unending love. This is the type of encouragement which fosters growth and stimulates us to continue in the good course set out before us. Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Period!

When someone tells you that you need to wrap your mind around some concept, they are telling you that the subject at hand will take some effort on our part to actually get enough of a hint of it in order to even remotely understand it. The subject is complex, even a little overwhelming, and we will have to apply ourselves to really grasp it very well. We cannot wrap our minds around God's wisdom and knowledge - because it is infinite and our brains are sadly finite. We can only 'think' so far and then we have to 'trust'. Some of us think there is nothing we can trust if we cannot 'think' it through, but this will never work when it comes to our faith. Faith requires trust in what is unseen and not fully comprehended. The truth we believe is really building our trust, but until we approach God with more trust than 'thought', we will never fully grasp some of the things he has prepared for us. We cannot wrap our minds around God’s wisdom and knowledg

Give him the pieces

What or Who is it that causes division among you right now? Maybe it is more of a 'what' than a 'who' that is creating the division between you and something you need in your life. Perhaps you are struggling with an addiction to something that keeps coming between you and true liberty from the hold that thing has on you. Yes, addiction is really the worst kind of enslavement one can imagine - being so emotionally or psychologically attached to the 'thing' that any attempt to break free causes so much trauma in your life that you just cannot imagine being free. But...God is above that addiction - he is stronger than the emotional or psychological pull that thing has in your life. Maybe the dividing force in your life right now is a 'who' - a tough relationship challenge between you and a coworker, a spouse that seems to no longer share your interests or values, or even a relative that doesn't understand some of your choices and now chooses to withdraw