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Why are we called to encourage?
In Hebrews 3:13, we are told to “encourage each other daily.” Then, in 1 Thessalonians 5:11, it says, “encourage one another and build each other up.” We also learn in Proverbs 12:25 that, “Anxiety in a person’s heart weighs it down, but a good word cheers it up.”
So, with this in mind, we have to wonder why - why is it so important to God that we encourage one another? Are we doing all we can to share God’s love with our brothers and sisters? And, not to mention, who does God want us to encourage?
Why is it so important to God that we encourage one another?
We all know this world can be tough. It’s easy to lose sight of what’s truly important in a world where we are dealing with daily strife, uphill battles and the looming pressure to make everything okay. Many experience discouragement and this leads to giving in - throwing in the towel and saying “nevermind, I give up.” This is where encouraging others is essential. This is where God uses His people to speak truth to our hearts to remind us that He has overcome the world (John 16:33) and that He has plans to prosper us and not to harm us (Jeremiah 29:11). We must encourage one another so that we can bring glory to God not just in our lives, but in the lives of those around us as well. Must we never forget 1 John 3:16 where we learn the true meaning of love - “This is how we have come to know love: He laid down his life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”
Are we doing all we can to share God’s love with our brothers and sisters?
Just think about it for a second - we’re good people, right? We open doors for strangers, smile at dirty, oil-changing men at the service station and we even cleaned up a little after the potluck last Sunday. But, what we must ask ourselves is are we giving it all we got, or are we just doing the bare minimum by being polite and personable while keeping our hands clean at the same time. Spend some quiet time with God. Ask Him to shine His light on new ways for you to share His love. Ask Him to give you the strength to pursue the doors He is opening in your life and to give you the tools and passion needed to reach out in His name and truly make an impact for the Kingdom.
Who has God called us to encourage?
While many of us feel a strong need to encourage the people we love, it’s somewhat a little harder to reach out to those whom we don’t really care for. Let’s be honest - how many times have you encouraged someone who has been downright rude to you, or someone that you believe is on the wrong path in life? I mean, really, how easy is it to overlook the elderly person who is taking too long at the supermarket or the hateful neighbor who just loves to complain about your dogs or the homeless man who you pass every day on your way to work? However, in Matthew 7: 1-29 it says, “Why do you look at the splinter in your brother’s eye but don’t notice the beam of wood in your own eye?” We must be willing to look outside of our box, forgive as God has forgiven us (Ephesians 4:32), and reach out beyond our comfort zone to reach those who may need a little extra attention.
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