“…encourage one another and build up one another…” 1Thessalonians 5:11
Belonging to a local church bears with it a number of responsibilities that are part and parcel of what it means to be a member. One of these responses that need our constant attention is encouragement.
Our culture often prides itself in being encouraging. We see more and more fund raising schemes for people in difficult situations, charity events for medical research, and even social media has become a channel for passing on how wonderful, gifted and inspiring people are. All this is in the name of encouragement. This is a good thing. The above examples all have their place in our lives as it does in any healthy society.
But is that all, encouraging someone means for the believer? Does our encouraging begin and stop with things like charity giving, emotional cuddles with someone doing it tough, or whispering compassionate words in their ear?
These things are often needed but can I suggest, if that is as far as our encouraging goes, we gave fallen far short of what true encouragement is.
The Scriptures make it clear that we are all to be encouragers. We are to encourage with encouragement that comes from God Himself. And that kind of encouragement can only come from God, through His word.
Gene Getz said rightly said, One of God’s primary means of encouraging Christians everywhere is with truth – truth revealed by the Holy Spirit. The repository of that truth is the Bible. That is what Paul wrote, “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Rom. 15:4). [Grace Quotes]
So let us dig a little deeper with our encouraging, as truth from God is what really encourages one another.