The New Testament is filled with exhortations for Christ-followers to encourage one another. The opposite, discouragement, is what Satan and his demons try to achieve.
“Oikodomē” is the Greek New Testament word for encourage. It means the act of building, building up, edifying, edification; the act of one who promotes another’s growth in Christian wisdom, piety, happiness, holiness; or a building of any kind. (Strong’s Concordance)
We are given clear direction on this topic from scriptures. Let’s explore three key points:
2. We are to avoid discouraging each other.
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” - Ephesians 4:29-32 NIV
3. We are to intentionally encourage one another.
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” - Hebrews 10:24-25 NIV
A WORD ABOUT THE GIFT OF ENCOURAGEMENT
While we are all called to encourage one another, some of us have the specific gift of encouragement. Consider this: “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” - Romans 12:6-8 NIV
It is easy to be critical of one another and discouraging. It takes intentional effort and obedience to the Holy Spirit to be encouraging. It is easier to be encouraging with strangers or acquaintances; it is much harder to do with employees and family members with whom we have daily interactions. Let’s examine our hearts, and if we are being discouraging to anyone, let’s repent and turn away from that behavior. And, let’s emulate those that have been given the gift of encouragement. Amen.
Your aspiring servant, Daniel M.
November 20, 2023
POSTSCRIPT:Dear friends, if this daily, transparent “Conversations with Christ” blesses you, please go to www.SOLIDpastors.org, where you will find these posted, and a repository of all, in English and Spanish. If you ever want to chat, you can reach me at Daniel@SOLIDpastors.org. May Christ bless you richly as you have your own intimate, daily conversations with Christ.