“But 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
I was sitting across the table at a luncheon for a church group. It was nice to be discussing family, friends, church relationships, etc. The food was wonderful and the company was even better.
While speaking to the people at the table, I was able to share about the work I do with the youth in the church. I shared about the different activities I was doing and how much I love doing the work I’m doing. One of the people said “You have a lot going on. I hope you don’t get worn out.” I responded, “You know, I love what I do so much, I find my energy through working with these kids.”
Then, unexpectedly, I heard someone at the table respond, “It shows! The way you talk about what you do, I can tell you really love what you do. You are doing a great job!”
I was at a loss for words. It is very rare encouraging words are thrown my way by someone who is not a close friend or family member. That is not to say I don’t receive encouragement, but it is not something I have become accustomed to.
When I left, I was happy. I felt good about the fact that someone noticed how much I love being a youth pastor. Then, I thought about the Church as a whole, and asked this question:
“How often are we encouraging each other?”
This is a legitimate question the Church should be asking. The author of the Letter to the Hebrews recognized the value of an encouraging word.
Encouragement carries so much weight in our spiritual life.
The value of encouraging each other in our spiritual development, personal life, etc. holds us to a closer relationship with the body of Christ and God Himself.
The scripture verse above made me ask another question: “What is sin’s deceitfulness that comes in when we aren’t encouraged?”
Then, it hit me! When I begin to doubt my calling; when I begin to doubt whether or not I’m worth it; if I start to get angry for lack of excitement by others; or when I begin to lose connection with my Creator, that’s “sin’s deceitfulness” in my life when I am not encouraged.
Perhaps, this is why depression is at an all-time high in the Church today, especially among pastors? Perhaps, this is why people are avoiding Church doors and walking into bars for comfort? Perhaps, the encouragement the Church should be delivering regularly is missing and that’s why people are looking for other saviors?
Today is the day to encourage each other. Today is the day we as the body of Christ need to lift each other up with kindness. Today is the day we need to live with each other in love and encouraging our faith connection.
When we encourage each other as the body, regularly; then negativity will be easier to recognize and shutdown when it begins to rear its evil ugly face in our hearts.
May we encourage each other with love and kindness in order to protect our hearts from the lies of the evil one. We have a role to play in this world as followers of Christ, let us continue to share our Savior in our words to each other and others.
QUESTION: How have you encouraged or been encouraged by someone recently?