As Christians we are told to encourage, to build one another up. Even though we are told to do this, the question still remains of how we are to encourage and who we are to encourage. God gives us clear answers on these questions and that is what we are going to discuss this time.
First off, we must recognize that we are supposed to encourage and love one another. 1 Thessalonians 5:11, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” We are commanded to do this but the question still remains of how. One way to encourage is to speak kind, uplifting, and positive words to not only Christians, but everyone around us. Ephesians 4:29 says, “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.” “No corrupting talk”, what does that mean? A simple answer would be no talk that is not positive. In other words, if the words you are thinking don’t build up or encourage, don’t say them. Proverbs 12:25 says, “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” A kind word, an encouraging word can do nothing but encourage and build up. Therefore, we should only speak words that will edify others.
We can also do things that encourage people around us. Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “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.” We see here that meeting with one another encourages us and the people around us. The simple presence of being with someone can encourage and uplift others.
Without encouragement, life becomes very hard. The prophet Elijah knows this all too well. In the book of 1 Kings 19:3-9 it says,
“Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night.”
Elijah was afraid, sad, and alone. He wanted his life to end. But then an angel comes and encourages him by giving him food. This experience changed Elijah’s attitude and got him back on his feet. Many times, a simple word or action can change a person’s day or even their life. Encouragement is vital to everyone’s lives.
We can all do things and say things to people that can encourage and edify. But we must also be aware that we can destroy and tear down just as easily. We must remember to encourage everyday just as the Scriptures tell us to do, “But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”- Hebrews 3:13.