Encourage One Another by Mike Nugent
In this world there are two kinds of people. There are critics who claim to show their love for you by making you a better person. And there are those who choose to encourage you for the amazing work God is doing in your life. The critic is gifted at pointing out your weaknesses so you can be the best you. The encourager assumes the best about you and look for ways to express their appreciation for you.
Throughout the Bible we are challenged to encourage one another. Here are just a few examples.
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
This is just a small sampling of the many verses about encouragement. I wonder what the world would be like if every Christian made encouragement a virtue, they practice every day? I wonder how much stronger the Body of Christ would be if everyone made encouragement, one the ways we put our faith into practice?
One of the things I absolutely love about our God, is he does not spend his time pointing out our flaws and our weaknesses. Instead he provides guidance about what is right and gives us the Holy Spirit, the Scriptures and the Church to help us succeed. This is where we come in. As the people of God, we have opportunity to encourage one another. We get to be the encourager. Here are some suggestions to help get us started.
Some of you love social media. Find a few people you care about and encourage them on their social media pages. Don’t make it long. Tell them in front of everyone something you love about them. Maybe it’s their honesty. Or the fact that they are always there for you when it seems like no one else is. They might be trustworthy or faithful. Simply identify some of the traits you admire about them and brag about them for the world to see.
Send a few cards. There is something wonderful about receiving a card in the mail. No agenda except to simply let someone know you care.
Make a call or send a text. It does not need to be long. Simply let someone know how you can see the nature of God shown through them.
I love it when Paul in 1 Corinthians 12, describes the people of the church as parts of the body. Each one is gifted by God to benefit everyone else. I find it interesting these graces or gifts are not intended to benefit the person with the gift but given for the benefit of everyone else. I also notice Paul does not put on the list people who are good at finding fault or can see the weakest link in every plan. Or who notice it when you fall short. These things are not parts of the body given by God to build up the body. I suspect that if Paul were to address these things, he would call them something different. Words like sickness, abnormal growth, hemorrhoid, virus, cancer, wart and things of the sort. Instead, Paul says this “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” These gifts are given so the Spirit of God is demonstrated in each person. What an amazing opportunity we have! Let’s be people who encourage one another. Let’s be people who build up the Body of Christ, so the world knows what the way of God is like.
Prayer: Pray that God reveals to you people you can encourage today.
Action: Identify at least three people and encourage them this week.
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