Encouragement: A Mutual Opportunity to Build Up One Another’s Spiritual Immune System
Over the past 4—5 months, our world has experienced one of the most stressful times anyone could ever imagine. Everyone has needed an extra dose of encouragement on a daily basis—whether we’d want to admit it or not.
Ironically, I tried to find the perfect lead—in to introduce this article about our ACEFC core value of encouragement … and it seemed as if everything I found had a hint of discouragement included. Maybe that’s exact intro I needed?
One of the most important roles and responsibilities we, who are faithful followers of Christ, have been given is to “come along side” each other with messages of encouragement, exhortation, edification, appreciation, affirmation, admonition, and advice. The root meaning of the most common biblical word used “encouragement” is “to be called to one’s side” for the benefit of strengthening another person.
Throughout history, there’s often been a tension between the Church and society/culture. Regarding this, God wants us to be supportive and helpful toward one another for the sake of His glory and for the testimony we present to the world around us.
There are many passages from God’s Word that “encourage” us to be encouraging, but here are two excellent examples. Proverbs 12:25 “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad.” & Hebrews 10:24—25 “Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”
Let’s take a little time to consider how this should play out and how it should look. Here are a few questions to help us determine what God might be saying—to allow us to see the positive impact of encouragement on ourselves as well as those around us. When we begin to spread encouragement, it could become contagious. A simple comment of encouragement to someone else could be the beginning of something special.
How does a word of encouragement lift your spirits or change your attitude?
How often do you personally have a desire/need for encouragement?
How often does it cross your mind that everyone needs encouragement?
How much has social media (email, texting, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.…) affected our ability to interact with others? (positive & negative)
What’s holding you back from becoming an encourager?
One of my concerns in writing an article like this is the fear of being discouraging. This is especially true because I’m trying in some way to be “encouraging!”—therefore, my greatest hope in trying to address this “topic” is to strengthen everyone’s desire to brighten one another’s days and to heighten our awareness that we all share the privilege of building up each other’s faith by spreading joy. We are brothers and sisters in God’s family. Our relationship with one another is eternal and it lasts forever and ever! Isn’t that an encouraging thought? But just think how much more encouraging it is when we all practice the art of encouragement with one another.
With prayer for God’s glory and praise for His grace …
And as always, with prayer for our ACEFC family, Pastor Greg