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Living Effectively for Christ 5: Being an Encourager

Living Effectively for Christ Day 5 – Being an Encourager

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11, ESV)

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear… Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:29,32, ESV)

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25, ESV)

Have you ever had an extremely rough day—maybe work was rough, or school wasn’t the greatest, or things around the house seemed hectic. You’re ready to just wrap things up for the day and hide under the covers and wait for morning to come. Trust me, I’ve been there many times (and sadly, just when we want to hide away, it seems like those days are the busiest). When you’re having a day like that, doesn’t it feel wonderful when someone says something encouraging or even sends you a sweet note? It doesn’t have to be anything profound—maybe something they appreciate about you or something they’ve recently enjoyed from the Word of God. Those encouraging words can often change the trajectory of our day; they can give us the strength to face the rest of the day with a good attitude. 

Encouragement isn’t just a “nice thing” we can do—it is something God commands us to do. We read in 1 Thessalonians to “encourage one another and build one another up.” God knows we need encouragement, because the things we face daily in this sinful world are hard. If we were part of a church with no encouragement, imagine how disconnected the believers would feel, perhaps useless, with no true sense of community. That’s why we are commanded to encourage one another until we “see the Day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25). This means we should encourage one another until the Rapture, or until the Lord calls us Home. This shows how important encouraging one another is to God,  and we should never cease doing it, no matter what stage of life we are in.

The encouraging that God commands isn’t just giving sweet compliments like telling someone their outfit is nice or complimenting a dessert someone made. While those can make people smile, I’m talking about spiritual encouragement. One example is affirming someone in a gift they have. Maybe you really enjoyed a Gospel message they shared, or maybe they have a gift in speaking to children and bringing Bible stories to life. It might be someone who consistently cleans up after church meals without having to be asked, and you want to let them know you appreciate that. We can encourage someone going through a difficult season in life by sending them verses that remind them of the grace and mercy of God and of the eternity they are promised in Heaven.

There are some people who are naturally good at encouraging those around them, like it’s their second nature. Others may feel awkward or think they are not well-spoken, and neglect doing so because they know those gifted at it will pick up the slack. But I want to challenge all of us not to slack off when it comes to encouraging; we are all commanded to do it, not just those who are naturally good at it. If this is hard for you, you can pray that God would give you the boldness and the words for encouragement, and He will equip you. If you feel awkward going in person to someone and saying something you appreciate about them, you can write a text, a letter, or reach out on social media with words of encouragement. There are many ways we can encourage others spiritually, and build up and strengthen those around us. None of us is excused from this commandment 

I pray that these verses from the Bible will speak to you (myself as well), that we may remember how important encouragement is to our Heavenly Father. May each of us strive to build one another up and create communities that are unified in worship to our Savior and service to each other!

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