Let’s lift each other
Rev Dwight Fletcher
Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV) tells us “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 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.”
The primary context of learning how to encourage others is regularly “meeting together” face-to-face with other Christians. When we were isolated during the pandemic we experienced the devastating mental and emotional repercussions. We’re commanded to not to give up this way of life for other priorities.
The Scripture laments that some Christians did it to avoid persecution. If persecution is not the excuse, what would it be in our modern world? Often Christians thank God that we’re allowed to meet freely in this country, but we do it far less than persons in countries where Christians are persecuted for their faith.We need to intentionally and consistently meet together so that we can learn about each other’s lives and identify ways in which we need encouragement.
This is a foundational element of Christianity. Once we have started to meet then we must ‘consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds’.
We should affirm value and potential in one another. The Lord encourages us to assign premium value to each other. In Romans 12:10 it says: “Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves.” We must place first-rate value on each other. When we do, we will value each other’s success as we do our own. We must look and see people where they are but also where they can be and speak that into their lives. Start to look around and “consider” others, God can give us a word that affirms those around us. Stop using words of discouragement to one another. Ephesians 6:4 (NIV) instructs us, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children …” We need to stop tearing children and others down with our words.
We should also recognise and praise others’ steps of faith to follow Christ. New Christians (especially) are just learning how to pray, study the Bible, share their faith, and serve their brothers and sisters. They compare themselves and tend to feel “behind”. It helps them tremendously when someone sees these steps for what they are – heroic steps of faith – and expresses God’s delight in them.
This doesn’t mean that we use flattery. Some persons are stuck and have not taken any positive steps to Jesus, and encouragement can help to break the inertia in their lives. Sometimes we have to say: “You’re a good friend and I care about you, so I need to tell you that you were made for more than this. You need to take the gifts God has given you and serve others.”
Let’s also remind others of God’s comfort and faithfulness. When life is going okay we can survive, but when calamity strikes we need an extra dose of encouragement. When we’re going through a hard time we need someone to be there with a word of encouragement that God can bless others in this way through us.
Finally, we should exhort others to take a scary step of faith to follow Christ. Many times, God is calling us to a higher level or a higher position in Him at work and other spheres of influence. God is calling us to step out in faith, so we sometimes need to hear it from outside of ourselves to help us believe. Let us lift each other up.