Encourage One Another

“Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” Hebrews 3:13

It’s always lovely to get encouragement. Perhaps is a hand-written note, a telephone call, or an email. We feel warmed when others encourage us. It’s much needed strength for weary souls and an important expression of God’s love. So important in fact, that Paul commands that we encourage each other:

1 Thessalonians 4:18 – Therefore encourage one another with these words.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 – Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

What does encourage actually mean, and how can I be an encourager? Well, the word actually comes from the French and means “to inspire with courage, spirit or hope”. The Greek is pretty varied in it’s meaning: comfort, urge, cheer, build. The Hebrew is perhaps the clearest of all and means to “make strong”. I like that. I wonder if that is the idea behind the Hebrews 3:13 passage? Strengthen one another so that you may be strong against sin. I think there is something to that but certainly there is more. Biblical encouragement isn’t about remembering to notice how well someone’s diet is going, how good they look in that dress or remembering their birth day. Biblical encouragement is about strengthening someone’s hope in the Lord.

Encouragement is shared with the hopes that it will lift someone’s heart toward the Lord. Paul did this in Colossians 4:8:

“I have sent him to you for this very purpose–to let you know how we are doing and to encourage you.”

Jesus models encouragement for us when he said:

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

How do we become encouragers? Here are my 7 top tips:

  1. Pray for greater love for others. You have to start here! You have to have a genuine love for others.
  2. Make it God centred. Point out where you see God working in their life. Tell them how you’ve seen God moving and working to transform them into the person they are becoming.
  3. Make it vertical as well as horizontal. Let someone know that you are praying for them (and actually pray for them!!)
  4. Make it ministry. Let them know the ways in which they bless and encourage you.
  5. Make it Biblical. Just use the Bible. Send them a Bible reference that will inspire and warm and build them up.
  6. Make it short and to the point. A card, an email a text message a Facebook message – whatever it is, whatever medium you choose. Get the point.
  7. Make them what to carry on. Tell them why they should not give up.

Proverbs 16:24 – Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.