Encouragement Please

Read: Romans 15:1-7

Is it just me or have we all but lost the ability to encourage one another instead of tearing each other down?  Each day it seems that we are faced with another controversy or story about one person or group demeaning or attacking another person or group.  I suppose this has always been a part of sinful human nature but in our instant social media culture it is so easy to share something or type something as quick as your fingers can move.

We need a better way!  We need to focus more on encouraging words instead of critical and hurtful words.  This doesn’t mean that we need to agree on things, in fact we may disagree greatly with some things that people or groups might do or say.  But disagreeing does not mean that we need to demean or attack them. It definitely does not mean that we need to spew hatred out across the social media spectrum.

In Romans 15 Paul encourages Christians to bear with other people whom we might not necessarily like or see things eye to eye with.  That doesn’t mean agreement or affirmation of false teaching and ungodly things, it just means that we are to treat others in the way that we would want to be treated in likewise circumstances.  In fact, verse 4 talks about how scripture itself was written to teach us endurance and encouragement that leads to hope.

A great place to glean some profound insights into life is from Children’s stories.  One from Winnie the Pooh comes to mind when thinking about being an encourager. As Pooh sets out one morning he is trying to think about who he should go visit for lunch. First he considers Tigger, then he thinks about Owl, but he finally decides on Rabbit.  Why? Because he says that Rabbit always has encouraging words to share with him. Let’s be a rabbit to those in this world and be encouragers.

Make it Personal:  Who has been a great encourager in your life?  Think about how others might think of you when it comes to encouraging words?  As coaching legend Lou Holtz once said, “Praise loudly, criticize softly.” Let’s all be known as encouragers! Please!

        Have an encouraging week,
Pastor Glen Rhodes